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Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 1 cup

This homemade version of the insanely popular Thai hot chile-garlic sauce is thinner and fresher-tasting than store-bought. It needs a few days to ferment at room temperature, but it’s worth the wait.


  • 1-1/4 lb. fresh hot red chiles, such as Fresnos, long red chiles, red jalapeños, or red serranos, washed and dried
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 oz. kosher salt (2-1/2 Tbs. if Diamond Crystal; 1-1/2 Tbs. if Morton)
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1 tsp.
  • Calories (kcal) : 5
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 0
  • Fat (g): 0
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 180
  • Carbohydrates (g): 2
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


  • Wearing gloves, trim the stem ends from the chiles and cut the flesh into large chunks (don’t remove the seeds or ribs).
  • Open the kitchen windows and/or turn on the exhaust fan. In a food processor, pulse the chiles, garlic, salt, and sugars to a loose, chunky paste, about 15 one-second pulses. Scrape the mixture into a glass bowl, cover loosely with plastic, and let sit at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.
  • Scrape the mixture into a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan. Stir in the vinegar and bring to a simmer, uncovered, over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is very soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture through a medium mesh sieve set over a glass bowl, pushing on the solids to extract all the liquid. (If you prefer a thicker sauce, use a large mesh sieve.) The sauce will keep, refrigerated in an airtight glass bottle or jar, for up to 4 months.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • spyce | 04/28/2020

    I make this every year with a variety of different hot peppers. I think Fresno peppers delivers the closes taste to the real thing. I make two batches, one with a mix of peppers as suggested in the recipe, and one with habaneros. I put on a mask and seed the habaneros! I didn’t seed them one year, and the sauce was super hot. I put mine in plastic squirt bottles that I get from Amazon that have caps with the tips on them.

  • dmlitblb | 10/17/2018

    I hate it when people rate a recipe then go on to say that they changed almost every aspect of the recipe. But... I'm about to do just that. I have followed the amounts of this recipe for over a year now, but I don't press the final product through a sieve. I also am super lazy, and I know die hard fermenters would kick me for adding vinegar before allowing the ferment to create it's own "vinegar", but I add all the ingredients at the beginning and just blend it all up into a chunky sauce. Then I let it sit and ferment in a mason jar with a coffee filter rubber banded on top. It's amazing! I love the amount of sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar. Different peppers and times of year require different fermentation times. The longer you can stand to let it ferment the better I think it gets. I have to make this frequently because we use it ALL the time. It is so tasty and amazing!

  • User avater
    Pielove | 08/28/2014

    We loved this hot sauce-- it has a fresh taste, with just a hint of sweetness, some tang from the vinegar, and a great garlic flavor. I used red "Paper Dragon" peppers from the farmers' market, but it wasn't super-hot-- just enough kick to let you know it's a hot sauce. Instead of pressing through a sieve, I used a food mill to extract more of the pepper pulp, which gave a good consistency-- and yielded about 2 cups. Good thing, as my heat-loving husband used about a quarter cup on his rice and beans last night.Edited to add that I've made this three times-- in the third batch, I used only 1 Tbsp of granulated sugar instead of 2-- this made it the perfect sweetness.

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