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Spicy Vinegar Dipping Sauce Recipe

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Spicy vinegar dipping sauce recipe is a versatile condiment that pairs perfectly with grilled meats, spring rolls, fried fish, and BBQ pork. It’s a quick and easy flavor booster, blending spicy, sour, and sweet notes to your favorite dishes.

Spicy vinegar dipping sauce in a terracotta bowl garnished with fresh cilantro.

What is spicy vinegar dipping sauce

Spicy vinegar dipping sauce is a flavorful condiment made from white vinegar, white sugar, spicy chilies, and garlic. With a balanced blend of heat, tanginess, and sweetness, you can use it as a dip for various dishes.

More about spicy vinegar sauce

Made with just four essential ingredients, this Thai vinegar sauce is a wonderful spicy table condiment bursting with flavor.

This vinegar dip strikes the perfect balance between spicy heat and sweetness, all while the tangy vinegar beautifully complements the sugar and chilies.

Juicy steamed pork being dipped in a spicy vinegar-based sauce with chilies, served in a rustic terracotta bowl.

Whether you like to drizzle it over some Thai chicken wings, add some flavor to moo dad deaw, or add some heat to your favorite snacks, this recipe is perfect.

You can even drizzle it over some steamed rice to turn a simple dish into a unique treat.

Freshly ground spicy vinegar based dipping sauce with chilies in a granite mortar with pestle.

It’s not just a condiment, it turns any kind of appetizer, fried food, or even everyday rice into something yummy.

What vinegar for dipping sauce

The choice of vinegar can make all the difference to creating the perfect dipping sauce.

  • White vinegar: I suggest using white vinegar for this recipe. It’s a staple in many kitchens, the ideal choice for classic vinegar-based dips.
  • Rice vinegar: A staple in Asian cuisines, offers a gentler acidity compared to white vinegar. Ideal for sauces accompanying dumplings or spring rolls, with a slightly sweet tang.
  • Coconut vinegar: With a milder acidity but a distinct slightly sweet and tangy flavor, this vinegar is ideal for refreshing dipping sauces.

There are lots of other types of vinegar you can use, like wine vinegar or distilled vinegar, but I suggest sticking to regular white vinegar for its reliable base.


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 Thai spicy vinegar dipping sauce, fresh red chilies, garlic, and white sugar, laid out in terracotta bowls on a bamboo mat.
  • White sugar Stick with white sugar to achieve the best taste of this vinegar-based dipping sauce. Brown sugar or palm sugar might overpower the other ingredients.
  • Garlic – Garlic adds a pungent and slightly spicy kick that pairs perfect with the other flavors.
  • Chilies – Thai chilies are a key ingredient in this vinegar hot sauce, giving it an essential heat. We grow Thai Jinda chilies and spicy bird’s eye chilies in our garden, but you can find them at an Asian grocery store. Feel free to adjust the heat level by using less spicy chilies or reducing the quantity.
  • White vinegar

Short recipe video

Cooking instructions

  1. Top-view of pounded chilies in a granite mortar.

    1. Crush the chilies with a mortar and pestle.

  2. Crushed chilies and garlic in a mortar.

    2. Add garlic and pound into a fine paste.

  3. Close-up of chili vinegar sauce in a granite mortar.

    3. Add sugar and white vinegar. Use your pestle to stir the ingredients into a sauce. Serve immediately.

Kitchen tools

  • Mortar and pestle or food processor
  • Cutting board & chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons & cups

How to serve

You can pair this spicy vinegar dipping sauce with a range of dishes:

  • Fried appetizers: tempura, fried chicken
  • Kanom jeeb (Thai dumplings)
  • Mookata (Thai BBQ)
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Spring rolls
  • BBQ pork
  • Calamari
  • Egg rolls

How to store

Store your leftover chili vinegar sauce in an airtight container like a mason jar. Place it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use a clean spoon to preserve its shelf life.

Frequently asked questions

How long in advance can I make vinegar dipping sauce?

You can prepare vinegar dipping sauce up to 5 days in advance. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge to maintain its freshness and flavor.

Can I adjust the spiciness of this spicy vinegar sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the heat by using more or less chilies, or by substituting with a milder pepper.

Is this sauce gluten-free?

The basic ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free.

More spicy dipping sauce recipes you’ll love

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Spicy Vinegar Dipping Sauce Recipe

Spicy vinegar dipping sauce in a terracotta bowl garnished with fresh cilantro.
This spicy vinegar dipping sauce recipe is easy to make with a blend of fiery chilies, white vinegar, white sugar, and garlic.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Dipping sauce
Serving Size 4 people


  • 5 chilies Thai chilies, to taste
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar


  • Crush the chilies with a mortar and pestle.
  • Add garlic and pound into a fine paste.
  • Add sugar and white vinegar. Use your pestle to stir the ingredients into a sauce. Serve immediately.


  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • This hot sauce is meant to be eaten spicy. If you prefer a mild dipping sauce, substitute Thai chilies with a mild type of chilies or use less than the suggested amount.

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