Sweet Chilli Sauce

This is great as a dip for prawn wontons or fish cakes, or mix a spoonful into almost anything for a delicious sweet and spicy kick - I use it in my BBQ ribs marinade. It’s also great as a sticky cooking sauce for coating meat, or even for making crispy tofu! This recipe makes quite a small batch, but it doubles (or triples…) very easily and keeps long term in the fridge, so crack out the chillies and go to town!

I sometimes use more chillies for a really hot sauce, it’s very adaptable to your tastes - use more or less chilli to vary the bite, as well as experimenting with the colour and variety of chillies. Leave the seeds out if you prefer a milder sauce.

NB: use disposable gloves if you are chopping lots of chillies by hand, I have had many nastily burnt fingers from the chillies!

FODMAP-rating: good, there’s a lot of sugar in this but you’re only going to have it in small quantities!
Difficulty: care required handling hot sugar (and chopping chillies!), but nothing too complicated about the method
Preparation time: 5 minutes to roughly chop everything
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes, depending on the desired consistency


Food processor/blender - if you don’t have one, just chop the chillies and ginger as fine as you can and mix with the lime juice. Alternatively you can do this with a mortar and pestle.


  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 3 cm root ginger, peeled
  • 4 whole red chillies
  • 3 cm lemongrass, very finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce


  • Put the water and sugar in a small pan and boil for 8-10 minutes until thick and golden.
  • Roughly chop the ginger and chillies and blend well in a food processor/blender with the lemongrass and lime juice.
  • Add the spices and the rest of the ingredients to the sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until it reaches the desired consistency - longer for a thicker sauce.