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Apr 24, 2010 01:31 PM

Using Hot Chili Jams to create savoury sauces for fish/rice?

Hi all, just received a lovely gift of hand made chili jams. Each is made with a blend of hot chilis, and fruit... but very (hot) spicy. Of course all of them taste lovely with cheese on crackers, but I think I remember reading somewhere that mixing a bit of chili jam/chili-fruit chutney with fish sauce and other ingredients cooked down a bit can create interesting sauces to serve over fish, rice, or even meats.

Anyone have suggestions (or actual recipes) for using chili/fruit chutneys/jams to create sauces to enhance meals? (Putting it on plain, while tasty, is a bit intense, and not nearly as complex of a flavour as I am after).

Thanks in advance for creative CH'ers and your suggestions!

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  1. It makes a lot of sense. A long standing tradition in many classic European cuisines is to use red currant jelly (and sometimes black currant as well) in sauces and gravies. My best advice is to try a teaspoon or so in any of your favorite sauces or gravies. A bit of it might also be a tasty glaze on roasted poultry. Ever watch Bobby Flay's "Throwdown" on the Food Network? He's so funny and so predictable. When he does a throwdown with someone who is famous for a specific dish, he makes the same dish but just adds chiles! I don't recall for sure, but I think he even did that with donuts or some kind of dessert. So just do a Bobby Flay impersonation, and who knows what great dishes you'll come up with!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Caroline1

      Caroline, you are so full of ideas- will have to look for Bobby online (I only have two tv stations...) thank you!

      My challenge here is that I don't have any spicy sauce recipes to drizzle over fish... am looking for something with Asian flavours, cilantro, maybe ginger, definitely onions and or garlic. Left my "Sauces" cookbook in New York and won't reunite with it until July, but don't recall spicy sauces in there anyway...

      Incidentally made a smoked fish fritter tonight and had some of the jam on top. My nose and chin were sweating and I had to strip down to a tank top--- and it is winter here! Definitely need some suggested recipes! Any thoughts?

      1. re: ideabaker

        WOW! That stuff sounds way over the top on "zestiness." A jar of that would last me about twenty years!

        You know what? Look on your time in Malaysia as a way to forge new trails and throw off the cookbook addiction! Oh! Wait a minute! You'd have to hack your computer (with an axe) to do that because Google has more recipes than Larousse Gastrnomique!

        Try a touch of one of the jams in any favorite sauce -- including mayonnaise -- and taste for flavor. Need more? A little something else? If you're serving the fish cold (poached salmon, for example) then a mayonnaise seasoned with a little of your chile jam and maybe some chopped dill weed or chives or cilantro or parsley or..... The possibilities are endless! I mean, if it turns out to be total yuck, what have you lost? Nothing because you've learned what does not work, and that's important too. Relax and have fun...! '-)

        EDIT: You've already got a good recipe going all by yourself. "Asian flavours, cilantro, maybe ginger, definitely onions and or garlic" Use it all, then maybe some fish sauce and/or shoyu, a touch of toasted sesame oil and the pan juices or fond from the fish. A little sake couldn't hurt, or some Chinese "ShaoXing" wine or Japanese mirin if you want a touch of sweet. Taste to see if it nees to be reduced to intensify flavors or thinned to dillute them. If you have to thin, a touch of slurry made with a bit of corn starch and a bit of cooled sauce or water will work wonders. Then drizzle over the fish and add a sprinkle of freshly toasted sesame seeds and VOILA! Delicious....!

        1. re: Caroline1

          Caroline, you always make me smile... and salivate, not necessarily always in the same order :).

          Thank you for your creative suggestions, and I especially will remember the tip about adding the corn starch concoction or water to adjust the thickness (you just headed off at least one future "confused by sauce-making" posts!).

          I just found out that one of the chili jams has tamarind (which I've never tasted alone) in it... do you think that still goes with the sesame, fish sauce, garlic, onions, ginger flavours? The others have tomato and pineapple along with very hot fresh peppers.

          I will have a play with some Asian flavours and see what happens. Will post back!

          Again, thank you!

          1. re: ideabaker

            Can't think of any reason why tamarind wouldn't work in an Asian type sauce. It's a really interesting pod. Tamarind is used in tons of things, from sweet drinks to Worcestershire sauce. It's "global."

            I look forward to hearing how it all works out. Just have fun...!!!