Small Batch Pickles and Conserves – Sweet Chilli Sauce

This sweet chilli sauce is the last recipe in my small batch conserves and pickles series. You can find all of the other recipes in the series here.

Next week, I will be starting a new Wednesday series.

This sauce was so easy to make and tastes just like the bottled stuff but hotter! I don’t think I will ever have to buy sweet chilli sauce again.

Chillies seem to come in two different heats in Singapore. The long chillies, that you can also get in Australia, basically taste like red capsicum. The small chillies they sell are apparently the same as the Aussie available Bird’s Eyes, but are called Chili Padi. Now I don’t mind a bit of heat and Key has an even higher tolerance, but we both agree that these are burn your mouth off, basically inedibly-hot. They are heaps hotter than the Bird’s Eyes I am used to. Removing the seeds or just using a small portion does not help reduce the heat at all.

 long red chillies

I used all long red chillies for this and the ones I got this time had a slight amount of heat, but I cheated and added some dried chilli flakes. Use your instinct, taste the chillies when they are raw. If you think you want it hotter, add the dried flakes. If not, then leave them out.



You can make a funnel out of a clean soft drink bottle. Discard the lid then cut off the top portion with a serrated knife. Presto, a funnel which will help massively with getting the super hot sauce from saucepan to bottle.



Chop your chillies and garlic up roughly, then process them until they are small pieces but not a paste.  Think of the size of the chillies in store bought sweet chilli sauce if you aren’t sure.



You want to boil the sauce fairly hard for 10 minutes.



I used potato starch as a thickener in place of corn flour as that’s what I had. You could definitely use cornstarch instead, just use a little bit less, as it is a better thickener than potato starch.



The sauce should thicken as soon as you add the slurry to it.



This will be hot and tricky to pour into the jar. Do whatever helps. I transferred the sauce from the saucepan to a bowl with a pouring lip and then used my makeshift funnel.



This sweet chilli sauce will be shelf stable if you use a sterilised jar. I knew that I would use this straight way though, so I didn’t bother. I just popped in in an old passata jar.



Sweet Chilli Sauce – Adapted from Not Quite Nigella

Ingredients – Makes approximately 2 cups

  • 120g long red chillies, stems discarded and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tbs potato starch



  1. Process the fresh chillies and garlic until they are in small pieces but not a paste.
  2. In a medium saucepan, place the processed chillies and garlic, sugars, vinegar and the dried chilli flakes with 1 cup of water.
  3. Bring to a hard boil over a medium to high heat and continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, mix the potato starch into a slurry in a small bowl with 2 tbs of water.
  5. Once the chillies have boiled for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in the starch slurry. The mixture should immediately thicken.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a jar.

If using a sterilised jar with a pop cap lid:

Place the lid on the jar and invert. Let it cool completely. If the pop cap lid has depressed during the cooling process, the jar is shelf stable for at least a year. Refrigerate once opened though. If the pop cap lid did not depress during the cooling period, the jar is not shelf stable and will need to be stored in the fridge. It will keep for at least a month even once opened.

If not using a sterilised jar:

Use straight away! Or wait for it to cool completely, then refrigerate. It will keep for at least a month even once opened.

sweet chilli sauce



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Hi! I’m Taryn. The Wooden Spoons is a food blog and collection of wooden spoons, recipes and stories. I’m a Canberra fan-girl with a passion for all things food. I love South East Asian food, fusion food done well and slow cooked anything. I don’t get quinoa, have a mild phobia of milk touching my skin and custard from a package freaks me out. Thanks for joining me on my cooking and food adventures.

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