Thai Chili Soy Sauce


The Thai Chili Soy Sauce is made from a traditional recipe that’s been passed down for generations. The sauce is produced from only the finest ingredients. It’s also 100% natural and contains no preservatives, artificial coloring or additives. I have always wanted to make a Thai Chili Soy Sauce for my homemade Chinese dishes, and I finally did it!

Thai Soy Dipping Sauce

Try making at home a tasty soy dipping sauce, perfect if you’re planning a Thai dinner: here is the step-by-step recipe, don’t miss it if you like Thai food.





2 cloves

Chili Pepper

2 red


1 tsp, fresh, peeled and grated

Soy Sauce

300 ml

Sesame Oil

2 tbsp


1 tbsp


Remove the roots and ragged tops from the scallions.

Rinse and slice into long, very narrow strips (approximately 3 cm).

Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.

Rinse the chili peppers and slice them in half.

Remove the seeds and ribs and slice into strips.

Mix together the peppers, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oil and honey.

Chinese Chili Soy Dipping Sauce 辣椒豉油熟油

辣椒豉油熟油 Chinese Chili Soy Dipping Sauce (vegan) is packed with flavourful umami and spicy flavours. It goes with all your Asian recipes, especially dumplings, tofu and seafood. The heat level for this sweet and savory sauce can adjusted to your personal preference! Next time you are looking for a spicy Asian sauce, make this in just 5 minutes!

sweet and spicy dipping sauce

Spicy Dipping Sauce for Prawns and Seafood Ingredients and Substitutions

The following sauce ingredients can be found at your local asian grocery store. When choosing which condiment to use for Chinese cooking, I typically choose a Chinese soy sauce for making spicy soy dipping sauce for prawns and seafood and reserve the Japanese soy sauce for making easy dipping sauce for dumplings and gyoza dipping sauce.

  • Steamed fish soy sauce (a type of sweet soy sauce)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cilantro
  • Shallot
  • Green Onion
  • Thai Red Chili Peppers (Birds Eye Chili)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sesame Oil (optiopnal)

You can also use light soy sauce or dark soy sauce in place of Steamed fish soy sauce. If you do not have fresh chili you can also opt for red pepper flakes, cayenne peppers or chili oil like Lao Gan Ma. You can also use jalapeno peppers for this spicy sauce,

Of course, how much red chili flakes depends on your spice level preference. If you prefer your sauce to be extra spicy, keep the seeds to your birds eye chili

Spicy Dipping Sauce for Prawns and Seafood

How To Make Asian Seafood Dipping Sauce

This simple Asian dipping sauce is made with a few of your favorite ingredients already in your pantry. The sauce itself is an excellent compliment to the delicate flavours of seafood like spot prawns.

Unlike Nước Chấm (Vietnamese spicy fish sauce), this spicy dipping sauce for shrimp in Chinese food is gentle, light while having subtle heat levels.

In a small bowl, mix together two tablespoons soy sauce, minced clove of garlic, shallot, finely chopped green onion, cilantro, Thai red chili pepper and a little sugar. Set aside.

In a small stainless steel sauce pot, heat vegetable oil on medium heat until hot but not smoking.

Pour the heated oil directly onto the seafood and shrimp dipping sauce. You will hear a noticeable sizzle sound. Adding cooked oil is a great way to enhance the sweet flavor of the dipping sauce for chinese boiled shrimp 白灼蝦.

This is a great recipe to highlight the essential ingredient – delicate and sweet tasting spot prawns.

This sauce is not suitable for salad dressing and it does not have rice vinegar or black vinegar typically found in Chinese dumpling sauce mixed with fresh ginger.

Balanced Soy Chili Sauce For Asian Noodles & Stir-Fries

I love Asian food—particularly Asian noodle dishes and vegetable stir-fries with rice—but it can sometimes be a challenge to make homemade dishes as flavorful as I want.

Of course, the solution is to use a yummy sauce.

soy chili sauce ingredients

And until I came up with this recipe for soy chili sauce, I didn’t have one.

It has always been my challenge to balance soy sauce with other ingredients, and still create depth of flavor. Soy sauce is so salty that it tends to overpower everything else.

That is when I realized the key to balancing an Asian sauce.


How Soy Chili Sauce Is Balanced

Since I generally avoid cooking with sugar, I hadn’t tried it in my own recipes.

Yet Asian sauces are frequently sweetened with sugar. And now I realize there is a reason for it.

Sugar is a magic ingredient that packs a flavorful powerful punch. I would even liken sugar to the flavor enhancer MSG, otherwise known as monosodium glutamate.

Sugar both enhances the flavor of Asian sauces, and balances out the soy sauce.

soy chili sauce

In early versions of this recipe I used honey, and it didn’t taste right. Still too salty and not right. Asian food doesn’t typically include honey.

Then, when I substituted the honey for organic raw sugar, that is when I felt like I had hit the jackpot. Only sugar can balance the strong taste of soy sauce.

I also experimented with sauces flavored with garlic, instead of ginger. While it is perfectly doable to substitute ginger for garlic (or use both) in this recipe, I do like the ginger.

I think ginger is the better companion for soy sauce any day.

How To Make Soy Chili Sauce

This soy chili sauce recipe takes just 10 minutes to make. In terms of prep, all you need to do is mince the ginger and gather the ingredients. 

The ginger is sautéed in a saucepan with red chili flakes, and then all the liquid is added. It simmers five minutes with cornstarch to thicken.

This recipe is really easy to make with the chili flakes, rather than fresh chilis. However, you could also sauté up some fresh chilis with your ginger if you prefer.

Our soy chili sauce is nice and spicy, which is, in my opinion, another essential ingredient for a good vegetarian Asian dinner dish.

soy chili sauce ingredients

However, feel free to reduce the chilis if you prefer.

I am also going to encourage you to use the sesame oil if at all possible, because it adds depth of flavor to the soy chili sauce.

You can use the sesame oil again to make your stir-fry, and you can use it up in many Asian recipes.

I hope you love this soy chili sauce, and I would love to hear about all the creations you make with it.

Earlier I mentioned stir-fries and noodle dishes. May I also recommend soy chili sauce as a dip with Chinese Scallion Pancakes, or with Asian dumplings of any sort.


This recipe for Thai chillies soaked in soy sauce is a vegan version of the ubiquitous seasoning that is prik nam pla or nam pla prik. This condiment is traditionally made with fish sauce, but here we choose to use either vegan fish sauce or Thai thin soy sauce with a little added salt.

This condiment is useful wherever you wish to add a pop of heat and and a layer of salty, umami support. Fried rice dishes, pad kaprow, and kway teow nam are all prime candidates for a dribble of this nam jim ‘condiment.’

Thai chillies soaked in soy sauce
Prik see ew khao (vegan prik nam pla)

Chillies soaked in soy sauce (prik nam pla jay – พริกน้ำปลาเจ)

Less a recipe than an instruction for how to make one of the most utilised condiments in Thai cuisine, this vegan variation is an easy to make staple to keep on the table. Traditionally this would be made with fish sauce. Thin soy sauce is less salty, and hence adding a little bit of salt. If you can find a good vegan fish sauce (the ingredients should only include salt, soy, and perhaps some colouring agent, but never sugar or vinegar), use that. This condiment adds heat, salt, and umami to a range of dishes, from noodle soups to fried rice.

Cuisine: Thai


  • bird’s eye chillies green and/or red
  • Thin soy sauce or vegan fish sauce (see notes)
  • a pinch or three salt, if using soy sauce


  • Cut the chillies into ¼-½ centimetre pieces. Tip them in a jar and pour soy sauce over to cover. If you’re using soy sauce, add a generous pinch or two of salt per 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce.


Since this is a Thai condiment, I use Thai soy sauce. Soy sauces from different countries feature varying flavour profiles.

Here are a couple of posts, both of which I recommend reading if you are interested in Thai cuisine, with more in depth explanations.


Thai sweet chili sauce is spicy, sweet, salty, and tangy. It’s a great dipping sauce for chicken, pork, and beef. Learn how to make it with this easy recipe!

I love to make homemade sauces from scratch, and this Thai sweet chili sauce is another one to add to my collection of recipes. This sauce is a flavor explosion of sweet, savory, tangy, with slow and subtle heat all in one. 

The sauce is made of garlic, red chilies, honey, sugar, vinegar, and spices, and it only takes a few minutes to make. All the ingredients can be found in your pantry or local grocery store. Best of all, you can control the ingredients, from the sugar to the spicy kick. And it tastes so much better because it’s free of artificial colors and preservatives.

This homemade Thai sweet chili sauce is deliciously versatile. Use it as a dip for almost anything from chicken, pork, beef, seafood, or whatever you’re craving. It’s kind of like that hot sauce. You’ll put this shit on everything!

What is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce?

Thai sweet chili sauce, also known as “Sweet Chili Sauce” or “Asian Sweet Chili Sauce,” is a classic condiment in Asian cuisine. Its authentic name is “Nam Chim Kai,” which means dipping sauce in Thai.

This sauce is readily available bottled in grocery stores and Asian food markets, but it’s very easy to make at home. 

How is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Used?

Use Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for any and everything your heart desires. We love to toss chicken wings in this sauce. It’s delicious! 

Other ways to use Thai Sweet Chili Sauce:

  • Grilled fish, chicken, or beef
  • Marinade for grilling
  • Dipping sauce for shrimp and spring rolls
  • Put it in stir-fry
  • Wontons
  • Egg rolls
  • Spread on sandwiches and burgers
  • Use as a topping for cream cheese and serve with crackers
  • And so much more!
Ingredients to make the sauce.

Ingredients for Thai Sweet Chili Sauce 

This Thai Sweet Chili Sauce recipe makes 2 cups of sauce.

The ingredients for this sauce are adaptable. You can control the spice level, the sweetness, and the thickness. You can even control whether you want to make it thick for dipping or thin for stir fry.

Exact measurements are provided in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Vinegar: rice vinegar, use unseasoned so you can control the flavor of the sauce
  • Sugar: white sugar, but you could also use brown sugar
  • Honey: Adds rich sweetness that sugar just cannot replicate
  • Garlic: garlic cloves, minced
  • Soy Sauce: adds umami. Use low sodium so you can control the sodium
  • Cayenne Pepper: adds a back heat that warms the throat on the back end of the sauce.
  • Sambal Oelek Sauce: this is a garlic chili sauce. Keep reading to learn more!
  • Slurry: cornstarch or flour mixed with cold water to thicken the sauce. Omit if you want a thin sauce.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Fish Sauce: This is optional but highly recommended to add salinity and umami. There’s a ton of flavor in a tiny amount. It smells nasty, but it sure tastes good, I promise!
  • Sweetness: I used a combination of white sugar and honey to sweeten the sauce. Instead, you can use brown sugar, all honey, or agave to sweeten the sauce.
  • Paprika: Sweet paprika is what gives the sauce its red color. Don’t use smoked paprika or hot paprika unless you want more heat. 

Where is Sambal Oelek and Where to Buy it?

Sambal Oelek is an Asian chili sauce made of chili peppers and vinegar. It can be found in the Asian section in most all grocery stores. I have never had a problem finding it. 

You may also see a chili garlic sauce on the shelf close by. It’s very similar, but it has garlic in addition to chiles and vinegar. If you use it, you may want to cut back on the amount of garlic this recipe calls for. 

We were first introduced to this sauce when I combined it with mayonnaise and sugar as a sauce for our spicy chicken wraps. We thought it was extremely hot back then, but now not so much.

whisking sauce in saucepan

How to make Sweet Chili Sauce

  1. Simmer: Whisk the vinegar, water, sugar, honey, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, and paprika in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir: Stir in the sambal oelek and mix through and cook 3-5 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken slightly.
  3. Thicken (or not): Whisk the cornstarch with cold water in a glass measuring cup to create a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the saucepan. Simmer the sauce to desired thickness, 3-5 minutes, constantly whisking to avoid sticking. 
  4. Cool: Cool slightly and use right away, or pour the sweet chili sauce into a glass jar with an air-tight lid. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate; about 1 hour.
separated sauce on back of spoon

Tips for Making this Sauce

  • The sauce is usually thick enough when you can dip a spoon into the sauce and the sauce stays separated after you run your finger down the back of the spoon.
  • Keep in mind that the sauce thickens as it cools. If it is too thick, you can whisk in a little water to thin it up.
  • When making the slurry, be sure to mix the flour or cornstarch with cold water and whisk it well to ensure there are no clumps and lumps.
  • Stir the mixture consistently while cooking to keep it from sticking and burning.
jar of Thai sweet chili sauce with spoon

Storage Suggestions

Store in the fridge inside an air-tight jar for about two weeks. When you take it out of the refrigerator, it may be congealed. Dump it into a saucepan on the stovetop or put it into a microwave-safe bowl and heat slightly to bring it back around.


What can I substitute for sweet chili sauce? Hot sauce or red pepper flakes mixed with honey.

Is Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Gluten-Free? Yes, but only if you make the slurry with cornstarch and not flour.

What dishes will you use this sauce for? We’d love your feedback. Leave us a comment and a star rating below. We value your opinion and appreciate your time.

See y’all on the mountain!

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