Homemade Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce with Cooked and Raw Versions

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This Vietnamese chili garlic sauce recipe was shared with us many years ago, by Christine W., when she wrote for a blog called Cook Smarter. She decided to make this classic everyday “rooster” sauce with fresh ingredients, and the results were positively delicious. She shares her experience below along with two versions of this homemade sauce: raw and cooked.

Homemade Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce with Cooked and Raw Recipes - naturally vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly

 

Homemade Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce with Cooked and Raw Versions

Many of you are probably familiar with the ubiquitous green-lidded bottle of chili-garlic sauce that is sold at most Asian grocery stores. With its trademark rooster image stamped on the front, it’s a common sight in many Viet (and non-Viet) homes. Our family always had a jar of this sitting in our refrigerator door, right next to the ketchup and mustard bottles.

Combined with lime, sugar and fish sauce, it made for an easy nước chắm (Viet dipping sauce) or a quick topping to stir-fried noodles and soups whenever fresh chilies were out. Up until recently, I had not considered making my own. The stuff in the bottle was not quite as good as fresh chilis, but it was convenient and handy to have around.

I came across a method for a raw version and a cooked version on Andrea Nguyen’s blog and it seemed easy enough. Also, I had recently purchased a 3lb crate of fresh cayenne at the farmer’s market.

With that ample supply, I decided to make both versions. It was actually pretty easy and quick to put together. Most of the work was cutting up the chilis and peeling the garlic. From there, adding the rest of the ingredients into the food processor took little time.

I’m very pleased with the results. They, of course, have a fresh taste that is far better than the store-bought jar. Both sauces have a heady aroma and a heck of a kick to them. I thought that the cooked version would be slightly tamer, but I find the chili flavor to be even sharper and the garlic a bit more pronounced in that one [there is more garlic in the cooked version]. The raw chili sauce, however, has an earthy quality and less of a sweet edge than the cooked sauce [there is more sugar added in the cooked version.

Homemade Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce with Cooked and Raw Recipes - naturally vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly

Special Diet Notes: Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.

Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce (cooked and raw versions)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You can buy chili garlic sauce, but this homemade version is so easy, and has such a fresh taste, that you might never go back t the jar!
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
Raw version
  • 1½ pounds. red, hot chilis (cayenne, thai, serrano, jalapeño, etc.), roughly chopped with stems removed & discarded
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Cooked version
  • 1½ pounds red, hot chilis (cayenne, thai, serrano, jalapeño, etc.), roughly chopped with stems removed & discarded
  • 15 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Instructions
Raw version
  1. Place the chilis, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt in your food processor and pulse until thoroughly blended but still coarse in texture.
  2. Taste, and season with more sugar and/or salt, if desired.
  3. Transfer the sauce to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator.
Cooked version
  1. Place the chilis, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt in your food processor and pulse until thoroughly blended but still coarse in texture.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for approximately 5 minutes, or until it loses loses its raw smell.
  3. Taste, and season with more sugar and/or salt, if desired.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool completely.
  5. Transfer the sauce to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 14 Fat: .1g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 3g Sugar: 1.9g Sodium: 150mg Fiber: .3g Protein: .5g

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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