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Mookata Sauce Recipe (Thai BBQ Sauce)

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This mookata sauce recipe creates a delicious Thai BBQ sauce in under 20 minutes. It’s quick, easy, and tastes just like the sauces from a Thai barbecue restaurant in Thailand. This family recipe pairs well with all types of grilled meats and seafood.

Mookata sauce for Thai BBQ in a glass cup.

This is the perfect dipping sauce for Thai barbecue! For a complete guide on setting up your backyard BBQ from scratch, check out my mookata recipe.

What is mookata sauce

Mookata sauce is a spicy chili sauce from Thailand, typically enjoyed during mookata or Thai barbecue. It combines spicy chilies with sweet palm sugar, nutty sesame seeds, and garlic, creating a perfect condiment for grilled meats and seafood.

Thai Mookata chili sauce

This sauce is all about the spice with hot Thai chili peppers. You can dial the heat up or down by playing with the amount of these spicy chilies. You’ll find them at any Asian grocery store or Asian market.

To balance the heat, we add a bit of palm sugar for sweetness. Again, feel free to adjust according to how sweet you like it.

Then, for a unique touch, we mix in some vinegar and ketchup. If vinegar isn’t your thing, swap it out for 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste to still get that tangy taste.

Close-up of mookata chili sauce with coriander leaves on top.

What’s great about this mookata chili sauce is how quick and easy it is. It doubles as a steamboat dipping sauce, also known as hot pot.

It can be made ahead of time to save you time on the day of your Thai BBQ. And don’t shy away from customizing the flavors to make this spicy sauce taste just right for you.


Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for mookata chili sauce on a white background.
  • Chilies – I used Thai Jinda chilies. Bird’s eye chilies can be used as well. You can use any kind of chili pepper, just adjust the amount of peppers to your taste.
  • Coriander root – A key ingredient in authentic Thai cuisine, coriander root brings an earthy flavor that’s essential in many Thai dishes.
  • Garlic – Garlic provides aroma and a slightly pungent flavor.
  • Chili sauce – Choose any store-bought variety, or use my homemade Thai hot sauce to make your own sriracha.
  • Ketchup I used tomato ketchup for giving the mookata chili sauce a tangy sweetness.
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar adds a caramel-like sweetness that’s distinct from white and brown sugar.
  • White vinegar – Vinegar introduces a sharp tanginess, brightening the sauce’s flavors.
  • Water – Water is used to adjust the sauce’s consistency to your liking.
  • Roasted sesame seeds – Roast sesame seeds in a non-stick skillet over low heat until they’re golden brown. No oil.

How to make Thai BBQ sauce

Chilies and garlic mixed in a food processor.

Step 1: Blend the chilies, garlic, and coriander root in a food processor.

Chilies and garlic sizzling in a wok.

Step 2: Next, cook this blend in a non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat until fragrant or 20 seconds.

Thai mookata sauce cooking in a wok.

Step 3: Add water, palm sugar, chili sauce, ketchup, and vinegar to the pan. Stir well until the palm sugar melts completely.

Close-up of Thai BBQ sauce.

Step 4: Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds into the sauce and turn off the heat. (Remember to keep some aside to sprinkle over the sauce in your serving dish.) Serve immediately and enjoy!

Kitchen tools

  • Wok or saucepan with stirring tool
  • Food processor

Tips for making steamboat chili sauce

Wash your hands after handling chilies: Avoid touching your eyes to prevent burning – speaking from experience!

Adjust the spice to taste: Change the chili peppers and other ingredients to match your taste preference. Choose milder chilies for less heat.

Taste as you go: Keep tasting the sauce as you adjust the ingredients to get the perfect balance.

Thai mookata sauce in a clear cup.

Serving suggestions

Grill your favorite meat like moo yang and moo ping and pair it with this spicy BBQ sauce. This sauce complements anything from seafood like grilled squid to grilled meats like Thai chicken wings.

I always make this sauce with Thai barbecue. It’s sooo good, and you can totally serve it with any Western BBQ too! It’s always a hit with my family.

Holding a piece of thinly cut pork meat between chopsticks, dipped in a spicy Thai barbecue sauce, with a blurred Thai barbecue on the background.

Keep it fresh

This dipping sauce is so good, you’ll want to have it on hand for every barbecue. Luckily, you can easily prep ahead! You can make this sauce in large batches and keep it in an airtight container in your fridge. It’ll stay fresh for up to a week.

Thai dipping sauce recipes

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Mookata Sauce Recipe (Thai BBQ Sauce)

Mookata sauce for Thai BBQ in a glass cup.
This mookata sauce recipe is quick and easy to make. Pair it with Thai BBQ and your favorite grilled meats and seafood.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Dipping sauce
Serving Size 6 people


  • 15 Thai chilies add to taste
  • 1.8 ounce garlic
  • 4 coriander root
  • 7 ounces chili sauce see notes
  • 2.5 fluid ounces water
  • 3.2 ounces tomato ketchup
  • 2.5 ounces palm sugar
  • 0.9 ounces vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds


  • Mix chilies, garlic and coriander root using a mixer.
  • Cook the mixture in a non-stick skillet or non-stick wok pan for 1 minute.
  • Pour in water. Add palm sugar, chili sauce, ketchup, and vinegar.
  • Stir until palm sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Toss the roasted sesame seeds on top of the sauce in the pan.


  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Chili sauce - Choose any store-bought variety, or use my homemade Thai hot sauce to make your own sriracha.

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