Homemade Thai Chili Sauce Recipe

homemade thai chili sauce recipeI had a few frozen shrimp that I needed to finish off the other day and remembered a wonderfully spicy marinade that I had used previously which involved Thai chili sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. The trouble was, I had run out of Thai chili sauce and I didn’t have time to run out to the store to buy some. Luckily I had saved an old recipe given to me by a Thai co-worker which I finally decided to put to the test. And guess what? The results are in and I can happily report to you that this homemade Thai chili sauce recipe is as good as anything you’ve ever had at the restaurant and it’s super easy to do. There’s really no way to mess it up (after all it just needs to be sweet and spicy at the end of the day right?) so I highly recommend this delicious sauce whenever you need some for Asian cooking.

As I mentioned before, it goes great as a marinade for shrimp skewers on the barbeque. If I recall, the last time I made this with the store-bought Thai chili sauce that dish disappeared in an instant! Everyone loved it. And if you are afraid of the spice, you can always add less chili but just know that once the shrimp gets thrown on the grill the spiciness gets reduced so that you’re left with a delicious sweet and slightly spicy taste in the mouth that just pairs so wonderfully with shrimp.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 whole garlic bulb (about 6 cloves), minced
  • (optional) 4 fresh small chili peppers, seeds removed unless you like it very spicy!
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 inch of ginger root, minced
  • (optional) 3 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tsp corn starch, mixed with a little water


  1. Simmer the water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. No need to boil, you just want the heat to allow the flavors to mix better. You’re not trying to cook anything.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, mince the garlic, ginger, and chili peppers if you are using them.
  3. After the water starts smoking, throw in the garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and squirt in sriracha if you like it more spicy.
  4. In a separate bowl, add a bit of water to the corn starch and allow it to dissolve completely. Then add it to the sauce.
  5. After adding the corn starch, the sauce will start to thicken as you stir it. Keeping it gently simmering for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. If the sauce is too sweet, add more salt.
  7. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, add more corn starch.
  8. If the sauce is too thick add more water.
  9. Let it cool and store in the refrigerator.

Yield: perfect for a single bowl dipping sauce

Bonus Recipe: Thai Chili Shrimp!

  1. Make sure the Thai chili sauce is cool otherwise it will cook the shrimp. Add it to shell-on headless de-veined shrimp as a marinade for 30 minutes.
  2. Skewer through the tail to the head (basically uncurl it when you skewer it), about 3-4 per skewer. This makes it easier to turn on the grill.
  3. Grill on high heat until shrimp is pink and grill marks appear, about three minutes per side.
  4. Sprinkle additional Thai chili sauce on the shrimp if you want the extra spice and serve.