We had a family gathering once at my parents house. Due to my dad’s diabetes our cupboards and fridge were free of any condiments and processed food. My mom served lunch and when her brother, my uncle, asked for tomato sauce he had this look of distress and shock when she told him we didn’t eat nor keep any tomato sauce in our house. The memory got me thinking about the strange habits human beings get up to when it comes to their food. Things like asking for salt before tasting your food or sprinkling tabasco sauce all over food. In fine dining restaurants all you get is salt and pepper, when I was doing my front of house training at chef school a guest asked us for ketchup for his steak, as a waiter you’re supposed to “go back and inquire” even though you know the answer already. When I told the head chef about the guest’s request the response taught me a few new swear words to add to my English vocabulary.
Seasoning a plate of food before you even taste it must rank at the top of my list as one of the most annoying things ever. Beyonce made it uber cool to walk around with bottles of hot sauce in handbags and I know quite a few people who even carry Aromat in their cars and bags. When you ask why you’d spoil a perfectly made plate of food with huge dollops of a sugary sauce they look at you like you’re the weird one for not understanding the awesomeness of preservative-rich commercial sauces all over your food.
Before I digress too much, like I always do, let me get to the point. This recipe is for a HOMEMADE sweet chilli sauce. It won’t look nor even taste like that stuff they sell at the store so please don’t send me messages like the ones I got for my mayonnaise recipe about “but Les, it doesn’t taste the same”! Processed food versus freshly made food will always taste worlds apart.
This recipe is awesome with deep fried foods like spring rolls, samoosas, tempura etc. The choice of vinegar is key to this. Don’t use spirit vinegar as the taste is too sharp and overpowers the rest of the ingredients.
250g Brown sugar
250ml White rice vinegar
5 Garlic cloves, crushed and minced
5 Fresh red chillies, chopped fine (do not remove the seeds)
20g Fresh ginger, peeled and cut into brunoise (or grated)
Put the sugar and vinegar in a pan and bring to the boil, keep stirring until the sugar crystals dissolve
Reduce the heat and allow the liquid to simmer for about 15mins and then add the rest of the ingredients.
Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for another 5 minutes. If the sauce looks a bit too thick add a little water to loosen it up
Pour the sauce into jars and seal. The sauce will thicken as it cools down. If you find that it is too thick for you liking once cooled you can warm it up again in a pan, add extra vinegar to make it less thick. Done.