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Nov 23, 2012 05:19 PM

Your favorite Asian hot sauces recipes

I want to give some homemade hot sauces as a Christmas gift to a friend of mine who cooks a lot of Chinese and Thai food. He has both sambal and sirracha. Are there any sauces you concoct on your own? I have access to a lot of Asian markets.

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      1. re: paulj

        My two favorite Asian condiments are:

        Hot Chili Oil / Sesame Oil

        Scallion and Ginger Oil....or some type of fresh pepper added to enhance the flavor and heat. It could be Jalapeno, Long Hots or Chili Peppers. If I'm lazy, then I'll add powders or red pepper flakes.

      2. I enjoy Fuchsia Dunlop's simple fiery sauce - just chopped hot peppers mixed with salt and packed into a glass jar. Lasts a long time in the fridge and is good in many applications.

        1. I'm just curious.

          What's the difference between an Asian hot sauce and, say, an American hot sauce? Or a Mexican one?

          Serious question. Not meant to be snarky at all.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Good question, Mexican or Latin American sauces are specific to habenero, jalpeno or another chile that is found there. A lot of manufacturers use lime juice and other vegetable or fruits to enhance the chile. Asian hot sauces are not specific to the chile per se, they are usually a combination of chili and garlic and other Asian ingredients such as black beans or fish sauce. My experience is very limited as I am happy with Sambal, it's cheap, versatile and lasts a long time if I get a big jar. I also like the Chipotle Tabasco sauce, again it is readily available, affordable and incredibly versatile. I used to buy the cans of peppers but like the Chipotle tabasco as I have more control over the heat. My friend OTOH likes trying new things and loves to add to his ever growing hot sauce collection.

            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

              IMO, tabasco's contains much more vinegar than Asian hot sauces, which usually have a balance of hot-salty-(sometimes sweet)-sour.

              You can make sambal bajak: To the sambal, add fermented shrimp paste (belachan) and process togetherl Fry this in low heat, then add galangal (optional), sugar, chopped tomatoes Let it simmer until the tomatoes blended well. Keeps for a long time in the fridge. Use it as vegie dip, or smother it on fish/seafood or fried tofu. I even use it on steaks and everything else. Growing up in Southeast Asia, sambal is like ketchup to Americans.

          2. Sambal basically means "sauce"

            There are lots of different types of them.

            A trip to a well-stocked Asian market will have loads of different kinds as well as other Asian sauces.

            1 Reply
            1. re: C. Hamster

              With due respect, a slight correction;) Sambal means basically chili sauce (ground fresh chili) which you can add a variety of flavorings, mainly shrimp paste (blachan) and lime juice. You can also add garlic, chopped onion and tomatoes, if you so wish. The basic sambal is the foundation in making sauce for sambal ikan (fish), udang(shrimp), daging (meat) etc. etc., or simply add kecap manis (sweetend soy sauce) for simple panfried or steamed fish or chicken.... Hope this helps.

              From Indonesian Lady

            2. I like the picture cookbooks by Hermes House. One for Singapore and Malaysia has 10 recipes in the condiments section. One that I've made is a pineapple pickle. It's diced pineapple seasoned with a paste made from chillies (their spelling), mustard seeds, giner, garlic, turmeric, vinegar and (palm) sugar. This is more like a fresh Mexican salsa, than a sauce that can be bottled and kept in the fridge for weeks.