Friday, November 29, 2013

AFF Thailand: Home-Made Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

One good thing about AFF is that it pushed my boundary, doing something which I won't normally go out of my way to try.  And this recipe is one of it since one small bottle lasts for ages in our home.  This recipe captivated my attention because I was curious if it's the same as store-bought, and YES, if I may say so. 

Source: Peng's Kitchen, originally from SheSimmers
Yield: 300ml
3pips large garlic - peeled
2 red chillies - deseeded *I kept the red chillies intact for some heat*
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2tbsp salt
1tbsp corn flour
2tbsp water

1/  Purée together all the ingredients in a blender, except for the last two (also known as the corn flour solution or slurry). 
2/  Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture thickens up a bit and the garlic-pepper bits begin to soften, which takes about 3 minutes. 
3/  Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue to simmer for one more minute. The cornstarch will help the sauce to thicken slightly thereby causing nice suspension of the garlic-pepper bits; otherwise, you get a thin sauce with all the little pieces floating on the surface. 
4/  Let cool completely before storing in a glass jar and refrigerate. 
Notes (by SheSimmers):
a/  I keep the chili seeds in, but your mileage may vary, so adjust the heat accordingly. More seeds = more heat. Keep in mind, however, that the heat is the strongest the day you make the sauce and starts to dissipate gradually. This sauce keeps for a long time, and after a couple of weeks, you can’t even taste the pepper.
b/  If you want to make a large batch of this sauce (more than half a gallon) — and you certainly should since this sauce lasts a long time — the best thickener to use is pre-gelatinized or “pre-gel” starch which is both acid- and heat-stable (corn or potato starch is not). It’s marketed under the brand name Clearjel®. Your chilli sauce will remain viscous and maintain the nice suspension for the entire duration of its shelf life when thickened with pre-gelatinized starch.
c/  Traditionally, Thai sweet chilli sauce is not thickened with starch; the syrupy consistency is achieved through cooking the sauce containing lots of sugar down until it’s thick enough to create a good suspension of the garlic-pepper bits. However, if you notice, bottled Thai sweet chilli sauce normally contained a starch thickener. You can go either way. I personally prefer the version that contains less sugar which is this one.

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