A standard hot sauce on tables in Burma, this chile garlic sauce for every occasion is hot, tart, and a little sweet. I reach for this sauce whenever I’m eating rice or noodles, I drizzle it over fried eggs, and it’s also a great complement to grilled meat and deep-fried snacks. Once you have a stash of it in your refrigerator, you’ll never want to bother with store-bought Sriracha or other commercial hot sauces again. If possible, make it at least a day before you first want to serve it.–Naomi Duguid
LC Not By Hot Sauce Alone Note
Man does not live by hot sauce alone. That’s why this hot Burmese chile garlic sauce also has notes of tart and sweet.
Chile Garlic Sauce
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Makes about 1 3/4 cups
- 1 cup tightly packed dried red chiles (just about any kind will work)
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar (or substitute cider vinegar)
- 1. Wearing gloves and being mindful not to touch your eyes (!), break the chiles in half, break off the stems, and rid the chiles of some or all of the seeds (there’s heat in them there seeds). Place the chile pieces in a small pot with the water. If your garlic is somewhat dried out and harsh tasting, add it now too. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the chiles are softened and have swelled up a little. If your garlic is young and fresh, add it for the last minute of cooking. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- 2. Carefully combine the chiles, garlic, their cooking liquid, the fish sauce, and the sugar in a food processor, and process or grind to a coarse paste; scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula. Add the vinegar and process again. The sauce may seem sorta watery but that’s okay.
- 3. Transfer the sauce to a clean, dry glass jar and store in the refrigerator, preferably for at least a day before using and up to several weeks. (When you make the sauce, it will seem watery, but letting it settle for a day gives it time to thicken. It also allows the flavors to meld nicely.)