Garlicky Chili Hot Sauce with a punch

We’ve been quite unconventional over the last few years when it comes to gift giving. When the holidays roll around, tis the season to fire up the ovens and gift out baked goods and sweets till everyone can’t eat another cookie. Granted, we have our traditional fudge that we’ll make for family who are out of state, but fudge is really the only sweet gift we pass on with a red bow attached.

Our more unconventional holiday gift is giving our homemade hot sauce and kim chi. Chili and spice is everything nice for all our food friends. They always welcome our little spice packed jars with open arms and we’re always thrilled to be the different kids on the block, passing out something other than sweets.

This year, we decided to make an extra garlicky chili hot sauce because we have a small contingent of food friends who crave flavor, heat and spice more than we do. And that’s saying alot!

for a rougher chili texture with more bite, don’t blend the sauce

Seasonally, making our chili hot sauces is always on perfect timing. During the end of fall, our chilies are all ripe and poised to be stewed with a whole lot of garlic. It’s an exciting season to be harvesting fresh chilies and canning them for the holiday gift giving season.

Homemade chili garlic hot sauce is always so wonderful because the bright, fresh pop of spice can’t be duplicated from a store bought bottle. Once you make your own garlic chili hot sauce at home, it’s an addicting habit that’s hard to give up. The vibrant, off-the-vine taste is undeniably terrific.

after the blender for smother texture

This recipe is adapted from our previous homemadesriracha hot sauce recipe. All we did was add more fried garlic to take the  flavor level up 5 knotches. But if you’re a garlic fiend and want to add more pop to the hot sauce, just add as much garlic as you want to handle.

We went a little overboard and made it a little TOO SPICY. Whew! It did hurt a bit, but the burn was good. You can adapt it to your spice tolerance level!

- Diane and Todd

generous amounts of  fragrant garlic

voila! can you feel the burn?

Garlicky Chili Hot Sauce Recipe

Yield: 1 cup

Total Time: 20 minutes

Adapted from our homemade sriracha recipe, this version has the wonderful aroma of fried garlic. The combination of spice and warm fragrant garlic is addicting. Like with any hot sauce, adjust this recipe to your heat and garlic tolerance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c chopped Chili Peppers (about 100 grams). *for a more mild hot sauce, start with less chilies
  • 3 T Vegetable Oil
  • 2 heads of of Garlic (crushed or minced)
  • 3 Shallots, medium size  (minced)
  • 2 – 8 oz. (or 1- 15 oz.) can of Tomato Sauce
  • 4 T Rice Vinegar
  • 3 T Sugar
  • 1 T Fish Sauce (this is a vital ingredient for wonderful flavor, please don't skip it)

Directions:

  1. Rinse, clean and remove stems of the chiles. Blot dry with paper towel.
  2. Wearing rubber gloves, mince chili peppers. The smaller the cut, the smoother your final sauce will be. Or you can just leave them minced small for a more spicy bite and bigger texture.
  3. In medium sauce pan, heat oil then add minced garlic and shallots. Over medium heat saute garlic and shallots for a about 1 minute or until light brown and fragrant. Fry the garlic and shallots enough so that they become crispy, but not burnt. (don’t burn your garlic!)
  4. Add tomato sauce and minced chili peppers. Let the sauce come to a simmer then lower heat to keep at a low simmer. Add fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Mix well.
  5. Continue simmering the garlic hot sauce for about 5 minutes. This will break down the chili peppers and soften them to create the smooth consistency.
  6. Remove hot sauce from heat and allow to cool completely.
  7. Transfer hot sauce sauce to blender and blend till smooth or until most of the chili pepper skin and seeds break down- preferably on the “liquefy” mode.
  8. Taste the hot sauce to further customize the hot sauce to your liking.
  9. Add more sugar, vinegar or water. Blend one last time till smooth.  Pour into clean, air tight jar and refrigerate. Use within about 1 week.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Rebekkah

    Hi! I have a question about the fish sauce, you say not to skip it which I completely understand for the flavour balance, however as a vegetarian I obviously don’t use it. What would you suggest as a substitute? I have no clue what it tastes like actually, but my instincts tell me that maybe a mix of vegan Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce might work, what do you think?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Rebekkah,
      Soy sauce will work fine for a substitute or if you feel like being experimental your guess of vegan Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce is great too. We’ll often use soy sauce as a fish sauce sub for this (and many other recipes) when making it for vegetarians.
      Thanks!
      T & D

  2. Patricia

    I have lots of peppers and can almost everything else from my garden. Your recipe sounds perfect. Would it hold up to a hot water bath for 10 – 20 minutes?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      That’s how we usually will seal our jars… in a water bath for 15 minutes. Hope you love it.

  3. jay

    What do you mean by c? And T? And what is a head of garlic?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      C is for cup, T is for tablespoon (if you ever see a lowercase t that is for teaspoon). In regards to garlic, a clove is the individual piece of garlic you break off, the head is the whole bulb. These terms will apply universally to recipes so it will be handy to remember if you browse other’s recipes too.

  4. Danielle

    I just made this, and it turned out great! I used a bunch of assorted hot peppers from the greenmarket – I just asked the farmer to give me a good variety of the most flavorful ones he had. I froze most of it, though. I don’t think I could eat all of this in a year, let alone a week!

  5. nicole

    follow up Q… I don’t think I could use all that in a week. So do I think I could freeze some of it?

  6. nicole

    this sounds like something I would LOVE. I love garlic and spice. I’ll have to pick up some chili’s and give this a try.

  7. Foodfreak

    Wow, that’s a great recipe, and I love your pictures.

  8. Kristen

    I bet you have people flocking to be on your gift list with gifts like this!
    I love the darker mood of your photos lately. Really beautiful!
    Happy holidays!

  9. Gayle in GA

    Would love to try this recipe. I have one question though. When you say chili peppers, which pepper would work best……Cayenne, Thai, Habanero? Love your blog. Thanks.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      That is the great thing, it will vary so much depending on the chili pepper, make it with your favorite. Cayenne may be a bit grassy and harsh, but the Thais and Habaneros both would be excellent, but each giving a different flavor. We have a harvest of habaneros waiting to be cooked into the next batch and this one was made with a Thai-like chili.

  10. Nam @ The Culinary Chronicles

    You had me at “Sriracha” :)

  11. Arudhi@aboxofkitchen

    Beautiful sambal! With garlic and chili, I can finish the whole rice in my rice cooker!

  12. Kelli

    This looks perfect for the thoughtful homemade gift I have yet to make. Wondering if you think it will last longer than a week. I cant imagine anyone using the entire gift amount in a week and think it might just be OK for a bit longer. What do you think? Hope you enjoy your 3 week Christmas adventure.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Kelli- as long as your jars are sterilized and clean, the hot sauce should certainly last for over a week.

  13. Helene

    I would take any gift coming from your kitchen. Love the shots. Take care :)

  14. Jeanette

    My kids love hot sauce and this looks and sounds absolutely fabulous! What a great gift idea.

  15. Deanna

    Have you ever used sriracha in a Bloody Mary? I got the idea stuck in my head, and I think it could be delicious, but I can’t seem to be able to make it work. Then I realized that if there was anyone who could figure out a way to make a Sriracha Bloody Mary it would be you two.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We have. We actually posted about it earlier this year: Sriracha Bloody Mary. We loved it!

      1. Deanna

        I must have read it on here and spaced on it since Bloody Mary’s weren’t something I drank up until a month ago. But I was right, you two would have a recipe for it.

  16. Jill

    Love the photography…and the hot sauce!

  17. Sasa

    Do you mean tomato sauce like ketchup? I’m in NZ and not quite sure what’s required and I want to make this asap.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Sasa- Tomato sauce in the can we used is labeled as “tomato sauce”. It’s not ketchup, it is basically cooked and pureed tomatoes. Ketchup will have vinegar and other ingredients added. Although, you might be able to use ketchup and make a spicy ketchup sauce!

      1. Sasa

        Thanks! I guess I will use passata.

  18. dario (foodpixels)

    Guys, my taste buds can’t wait to try this sauce and if mine turns out too hot like yours….. well there’s always a cold beer ( or two ) in the fridge!
    Stunning photos, as usual .
    Dario

    1. White on Rice Couple

      dario- thank you and make that 4 beers for our version!

  19. Nicole

    I always love your photos, but these are particularly stunning. Since I live in Fairbanks, Alaska I will need to save this recipe for next fall. I always grow chilies in our greenhouse because they look so pretty. Each fall I harvest basketloads and am never sure what to do with them all. I planted garlic for the first time this past fall. This is something to look forward to for sure.

  20. bunkycooks

    Happy Holidays to you both!!! I love that you give away the hot stuff as gifts. I have seen sooo many sweets lately that I have gained weight just by looking at them! I would much prefer getting spicy or savory condiment. I always say, the hotter the better! Just add more food. :)

  21. Stephanie M at Together In Food

    What a unique idea for holiday gifts (vs. the usual sweet suspects). Did you grow your own peppers, garlic, and tomatoes for this recipe too? I planted garlic this year, but tomatoes and peppers are a no-go in my foggy San Francisco backyard.

    I love fish sauce and have been using it a lot lately — my latest favorite is Brussels sprouts parboiled then pan-roasted with bacon and a splash of fish sauce, honey, and black pepper.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Although we have most everything growing (or canned from the summer) for the recipe, the ingredients from this batch came primarily from the farmers market. One of the Asian greens vendors had cut back his chilis and was selling huge bunches for $4. Two of those made up over a gallon of sauce. We didn’t want to waste our home grown tomato sauce, so we ended up using a leftover can in the pantry

      Your Brussels sprouts sound divine!

  22. Soma

    Now that is something I would like to have when it is cold. Sriracha is always on our shelf, the only fav. hot sauce. I am sure gonna make this one, but without the Fish Sauce. LOVE that red on gray!!!

  23. deeba

    Finger licking good, and sensational. I ♥ your pictures. Have a delicious holiday season!

  24. Cookin' Canuck

    The color of the hot sauce is stunning! By the time Christmas rolls around, I am bursting with sweets and looking for a little savory something to save the day. I would be thrilled if someone arrived at my doorstep with a bottle of this sauce.

  25. Victoria

    Hi, Guys,

    What a great post and a great idea!

    I certainly don’t have a garden to compare with yours (sigh), but I do put up tomatoes. I had already planned to grow lots of garlic next summer because the garlic from my local farmstand blew the stuff in the supermarket far away. So I will add chilies and have the stuff to make this next holiday season.

    Merry Christmas to you and everyone.

  26. Shaina

    Yum. We have a hot sauce addiction over here, and Ole is always on the lookout for new ones to try. I can only imagine this will be on his “must make” list soon. And I say the more untraditional the gift the better, if untraditional is hot sauce and kim chi.

  27. Gosia

    Diane and Todd, first of all Merry Christmas. After all, this is in this spirit that you present this recipe. Since I adore your images, like always, I’ll try not to mention them in this comment. I’ll only say that they’re brilliant, and absolutely mouth watering, and artistically sophisticated, and rustic plenty to address the nature of the food you present, and on and on and on, because, as you might have already picked up on it, I love how you present your fare.
    Now, about the recipe. We’ll be leaving the home for three weeks for Christmas come this Friday. Just today, I’ve spotted the basket of fresh Thai chilies I picked up at the local Chinese market. I haven’t had a chance to use them all, but your recipe comes so appropriately handy. I’ll make the sauce tomorrow and gift with it the people around, at least those who say they’ll miss us at Christmas. I’m positive they’ll remember us after this gift – it’s gonna be hot, I’ve got plenty of the chilies to use.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Gosia- Glad the timing was right with your local chili find and this recipe. Hope it turned out well!

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