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Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe (Nam Chim Kai)

Thai sweet chili sauce in a sauce cup with a fish cake.

Thai sweet chili sauce or nam chim kai is easy to make at home, make it once, and you'll never go back to store-bought versions again. This is one of my favorite staples, it's incredibly versatile, easy to make, and it makes a delicious dip for everything. Homemade means you get to control the ingredients and the flavors, so everybody can enjoy.

Thai sweet chili sauce in a sauce cup with Thai fish cake.

After making this, try one these readers-favorite Thai dipping sauces: Thai hot sauce and mookata chili sauce!

What is Thai sweet chili sauce

Thai sweet chili sauce is a staple condiment in Thai cuisine, blending sweet flavors with a mild chili heat. It's a versatile syrupy sauce often used as a dip for spring rolls, grilled chicken, and appetizers.

Nam chim kai

The ingredients that go into nam jim gai vary greatly on the recipe you use, or the Thai household that made the sauce. But that's the beauty of it, everywhere you go, the vibrant red Thai sweet chili sauce is different.

Thai sweet chili sauce, nam chim kai, in clay cup with a side of Thai fish cakes and salad.

Most Thai restaurants have their own unique recipe, and store-bought versions come in lots of variations. Recipes can vary greatly in the type of fresh chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and fresh herbs and spices, the flavor combinations are endless.

This is the recipe we use in my family. It's simple but hits all the right flavors.

Why make Thai chili sauce

You're in control of the flavors! Whether you prefer a mild sauce or a fiery kick, a bunch of sweetness or a tangy note, this easy and versatile recipe offers it all. You can even craft a kid-friendly version of this dip.

No more forgotten bottles and wasted sauce. Store-bought versions of Thai sweet chili sauce often come in large glass bottles, and the unused portions can go to waste. With this recipe, you can make just the right amount you need, just adjust the serving amount in the recipe card.

Thai Sweet and chili sauce is one of the most versatile dipping sauces ever. You can pair it with just about anything, from Thai vegetable spring rolls and tod mun pla to Thai shrimp rolls.

Thai sweet chili sauce, nam chim kai, with tod mun pla.

And the great thing about this treat is the shelf life in the refrigerator, if you want you can make extra and enjoy the deliciousness for a long time.

Store-bought condiments are filled with additives and preservatives. But this homemade version is free from artificial ingredients. Homemade food is a healthy and rewarding choice, and this sauce is gluten-free!

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for Thai sweet chili sauce: red chilies, garlic, white vinegar, white sugar, salt, and garlic on a bamboo serving tray.
  • Fresh Thai chilies (red) - Fresh chilies are key for adding heat to the sauce. To make this sauce less spicy, you can either remove the seeds, use less chilies, or substitute Thai Jinda chilies for milder chilies.
  • Apple cider vinegar - Apple vinegar is key for a tangy flavor which balances out the sweetness of the sugar.
  • White sugar - Sugar is needed for the sweet flavor. You can easily adjust the quantity to increase or decrease the sweetness, but the recipe turns out amazing with the suggested amount.
  • Salt - A pinch of salt is enough to balance out the sweet, tangy, and spicy notes. Salt is also a natural preservative, which increases the shelf life.
  • Garlic - Garlic brings a savory and slightly pungent taste that goes hand in hand with the sweet and spicy flavors.
  • Water

Cooking instructions

Step 1: Crush the chilies and garlic in a mortar and pestle into a fine paste.
Step 2: Place a large wok or pot over medium-high heat and add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until the sugar is fully dissolved, and the sauces reaches your desired consistency. Make sure it's not too thick, as the sauce will slightly thicken while cooling.
Step 3: Add pounded garlic and chilies and let the sauce cook for 1 more minute.

Kitchen tools for nam jim gai

Here's what you'll need:

  • Mortar and pestle or food processor
  • Non-stick wok, skillet, or wok
  • Spatula or spoon for stirring

How to serve Thai sweet and chili sauce

Nam chim kai is a great sweet chili dip sauce for a wide array of dishes. It's the perfect dip for starters like Thai dumplings, wontons, Thai chicken satay, moo ping, calamari, Thai chicken wings, and fried chicken drumsticks.

Drizzle it over your Thai vegetables stir-fry, or pair it with one of my Thai noodle recipes. Drizzle it over your salads, jazz up raw veggies, or mix it into Thai fried rice.

How to store Sweet Thai chili sauce

Let your sauce cool to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container or a mason jar in the refrigerator. It keeps well for up to a week. Simply reheat it on the stove over low heat to restore its original texture before serving.

More Thai dipping sauce recipes you'll love

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Ratings 5 from 1 votes
Cooking Method
Cuisine
Courses
Time
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 25 mins
Servings 10
Calories 216
Description

An easy recipe for a delicious version of Thai sweet chili sauce or nam chim gai.

Ingredients
  • 0.35 ounces chilies (Thai Jinda chilies)
  • 0.70 ounces large chilies (prik chi fa, seeds removed)
  • 1.05 ounce garlic
  • 5.07 fluid ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 12.30 ounces white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1.70 fluid ounce water
Instructions
  1. Crush the chilies and garlic in a mortar and pestle into a fine paste.

  2. Place a large wok or pot over medium-high heat and add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until the sugar is fully dissolved, and the sauces reaches your desired consistency. Make sure it's not too thick, as the sauce will slightly thicken while cooling.

  3. Add pounded garlic and chilies and let the sauce cook for 1 more minute.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 10


Amount Per Serving
Calories 216kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.3g1%
Total Carbohydrate 55.1g19%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g7%
Sugars 51.9g
Protein 0.9g2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note
  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Use as a dipping sauce for your appetizers, fried food, meat, spring rolls, as a salad dressing, dumplings, etc.
Keywords: Thai sweet chili sauce, how to make Thai sweet chili sauce, nam chim kai

Thank you so much for trying my recipe!