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HOW much chili sauce?? You're kidding, right?

I'm making some Thai fried rice tonight. Recipe calls for 2 cups cooked rice, 2 TABLESPOONS spicy Thai chili sauce and 1 tablespoon fish sauce.

I'm really concerned about the amount of chili sauce. The only sauce ingredients are the two listed. There's no soy, no vinegar, etc...

I've got Sriracha, Sambal Oelek and chili-garlic paste. Surely the creator of this recipe isn't calling for a tablespoon of Sriracha for 2 cups rice. The other 2 also seem excessive. Is there a thinner, less spicy sauce I've missed? Or a common Thai way to cut some of that heat?

Mom is eating with us tonight and swears she loves Thai Fried rice, but I know for a fact she can't take heat. At all. My Dude and I like spicy Thai rice just fine, but Mom can't handle it. Is there something else that will make it uniquely Thai I can use? I've got red curry paste I've not opened and never tried, in addition to some of the usual suspects; soy sauce, rice vinegar, coconut milk, etc...

I know I'm asking a lot here, but will appreciate any tips you have to help me create this for Mom. Oh, and dinner is at 7:30 tonight, EDT.

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  1. Start with a little less than the amount which seems right to you. The heat of the rice may intensify the heat of the sauce. Taste then adjust to suit!

      1. re: youareabunny

        The recipe from Thaitable is one I looked at, but found a bit confusing. I'm not a novice cook by any means, nor wedded to recipes, but I do like a little direction when making something for the first time.

        I've made fried rice, although not often, but this recipe just seemed a complete jumble, with veg, protein and sauce ingredients listed in no particular order. It does give what i think is a better rice/sauce ratio, so this could be a better starting point for me.

        1. re: DuffyH

          There are amounts. Maybe just rewrite the ingredient list and put all of the optional ingredients in another group, then choose what you like out of the bunch then add it.

          Looks primarily as
          1 cup rice, 1 tsp fish sauce, 2 tsp soy, and sliced tomato cooked together. Cooked meat (or cook the meat first), etc

      2. There are SO many types of chili sauce. Most recently I have been buying Lingham's hot sauce from Malaysia through a Thai importer in Seattle, www.importfood.com.
        It is mild/sweet with a strong chili taste, you could eat it with a spoon. It is wildly popular with friends and I recently ordered another case.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Veggo

          <There are SO many types of chili sauce.>

          This is what my research revealed, and what brought me here tonight. I suspect that it's a milder form of spicy chili sauce the author had in mind.

        2. First;
          Where did you get your recipe? From a reliable source or just random pick from the Internet?
          Secondly if you are married to your recipe(which seem doubtful since you seem so incredulous about the Chili Sauce)Just adjust to your taste.
          2T of Sambal Olek for 2 cups of Rice sounds fine to me, but my Sister would not be able to touch it.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chefj

            Reliable source? No. Random pick? No. After looking at many, many recipes for Thai rice, I found that quite a few called for relatively large amounts of chili sauce. This one was a reasonable representative.

            As I said, I like it hot, but couldn't believe the author meant to use that much Sriracha. I guessed it had to be some other chili sauce, and hoped to get some help with modifying what I have on hand to work.

            1. re: DuffyH

              Many Recipes do not call for any Chili to be add to the cooking of the Rice at all. It can just be served on the side for each Diner to add to taste.
              Sriracha would not be my first choice for this. I would serve either Sambal Olek or Nam Pla Prik.

              1. re: DuffyH

                Its funny, I don't find 2 Tbs of Sriracha all that much for 2 cups of rice . . . . especially for Thai food, which I think should be hot anyway.

                I'm not sure if that is the type of chili sauce they meant but it doesn't seem outrageous to me either. Rice is very bland and I think it will counter a lot of the heat.

                1. re: thimes

                  Yeah, I'm always surprised at how effectively rice neutralizes whatever heat I add. For about 3 cups of rice, I use a couple of tablespoons of various chili pastes and/or sauces, depending on how I feel, what is on hand, and what fresh chilies I may have chopped and added. The kids tolerate some spice but don't enjoy rice that is too killer, i.e. I hold the habaneros.

                  The OP should definitely sauce to taste, however.

                  1. re: tcamp

                    if this is the case try using korean gochujang paste mixed in with the rice.

                    1. re: kimeats

                      I'm not sure if I've ever tried it. Always happy to give something with some heat a try. What does it taste like?

                      1. re: thimes

                        it's hard to describe, it's a fermented paste made from korean red chilis, fermented soybeans, glutinous rice flour and salt. it's not too hot, but gives a nice flavor and a kick of heat.

                        idk where you live but I can get it at my regular grocery store in the asian food aisle but all asian grocers seem to carry it. It normally comes in a red tub but Amazon seems to sell a smaller tube of it:

              2. My dinner emergency has been deferred to another night. 2 late afternoon colds caused me to change the menu to soup and rolls.

                I thank you all for your advice. It has been helpful. I'll start with the fish sauce, maybe 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek and go from there. Maybe a touch of soy sauce; the Dude likes that in his rice.

                1. Don't use a recipe to make fried rice.

                  It's just fried rice. Make it how you like it.

                  1. Could have meant Thai chicken chili sauce, combo of chilis and sugar syrup, not overly hot and that proportion sounds right. Mae Ploy most common brand.

                    1. the fish sauce will mellow it out a bit, 2 tablespoons isn't much to me for that much of fried rice.
                      i probably add more myself.

                      1. Like the others said, Thai food tends to be on the hotter side. I don't think 2 tbsp. of chili sauce is too much. I probably would eat that much of it with my fried rice too. We eat spicy in our house.

                        1. They also sell sweet chilli sauce which is far less hot. It has garlic and sometimes ginger in it, and I love the stuff... you can use it like ketchup because it's not nearly as blazing hot as 'hot' chilli sauce. You never used to be able to buy it in the US unless you went to an Asian grocer, but Maggi has a bottle and so does Franks 'redhot'.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Kajikit

                            This is the one I'm thinking of; Mae Ploy (as mentioned above)


                            Sweet, and not as spicy as sriracha.

                            This might be useful;
                            "CONCERNING CHILI SAUCES"

                            Among other things, it reads;

                            "1. Korean Chili Sauce

                            Gochujang – This is more like a chili paste than sauce, made with dried chili powder, rice, fermented soy beans, and salt. Gochujang has thick, almost sticky texture and sweet soy bean flavor along with spiciness that kicks in slowly. This is the sauce that goes on top of Bibimbap, one of my friends’ favorite Korean food. Korean chefs use Gochungjang for all kinds of dishes – stir fried spicy pork (Doeji bulgogi), stir fried squid and octopus (Ojingeo bokkum & Nakji bokkum), all kinds of spicy stews (Zigae), spicy noodles and so on. Also very popular among Koreans (especially the younglings) is tokpokki, which is rice cake sticks, fish cakes, and vegetables simmered in sweet Gochujang sauce. It’s also good with plain rice (short grain rice, not Jasmine or long grain)and a few drops of sesame oil. Soonchang gochujang from Chung Jung Won brand is my favorite.

                            2. Chinese Chili Sauce

                            Toban-Djan (Chinese chili bean sauce)- This is the famous Szechuanese chili bean sauce (or chili bean paste) that’s used in Ma-Po tofu, Twice cooked pork, and other Szechuan style dishes. Lee Kum Kee brand is very good and trusted. This sauce is highly salty and has very strong fermented flavor. Stir-frying it in oil makes it more tasty and less smelly. Also you need to add some sugar, soy sauce, or Hoisin sauce to balance the flavor. This is different from Chili garlic sauce, which has more sour taste.

                            3. Other Asian Chili Sauce

                            Chili Garlic Sauce - This is coarse textured chili sauce with garlic that comes usually in a round plastic container with a green cap, from Huy Fong Foods. (There’s a rooster on the label.) You will see this in a lot of Vietnamese restaurants. It has very pungent and sour taste with lots of saltiness. I love putting it on top of Pho or anything that tastes bland. I prefer not to cook with it as it’s a bit messy.

                            Sriracha Sauce – More smooth type of chili sauce. This is sold in a tall tube with pointy tip. It’s used sometimes as a garnish on top of spicy tuna or other kinds of spicy sushi rolls. Sriracha has a cleaner taste compared to Sambal Oelek, and can be mixed with mayonnaise. I have only seen and used the Hui Fong Foods brand Srirach Sauce.

                            Sambal Oelek (Ground fresh chili paste) – This looks very similar to Chili garlic sauce and also comes in similar looking plastic jar, but with a golden label. I have never used it, but Huy Fong explains that it has only chili, not garlic.

                            Thai Sweet Chili Sauce – This is a really nice chili sauce that’s not too spicy and well balanced with pleasant sweetness. I love the Mae Ploy brand. Thai sweet chili sauce is wonderful as a dip for fresh spring rolls, mixed with a bit of lime juice. Fried chicken wings covered in this sauce are more often spotted in restaurants. About any fried food will go well with this sauce."

                            1. re: Kajikit

                              Thanks. That might be just the ticket for Mom. As I wrote above, she just can't handle any heat, but claims to love Thai fried rice.

                              I've had Thai before, but never ordered fried rice at a Thai place, so have no reference for the specifics of what she wants. I routinely eat Szechuan, and love hot, but Mom would choke on it.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Maybe she orders it mild so the heat is minimal. Most Thai places around here will ask you what spice level you want, as some people can't handle "normal" Thai spice levels. Maybe she orders it as a "1" on a "1" to "5" spice level.

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  My experience in Thailand is that it's not really a spicy dish. It's often made at breakfast with leftover rice from night before. They just use a few chopped up dried red chilies in the wok with the rice and then the diner adjusts the spiciness to their liking at the table by scooping on chopped chilies marinated in fish sauce. There are obviously variations.

                                  I don't think I would squirt or pour any of these bottled hot sauces on while cooking. Better to use fresh garlic- which is an ingredient in most of those sauces anyway- and chili peppers if you have them. But jalepenos or serranos are a decent compromise for spice adverse. Use fish sauce, soy sauce, green onions. White pepper and turmeric can help as well.

                                  I've been doing a lot of Thai cooking lately and I've noticed that some of the English recipes available online are kind of wacky in use of spicy sauces. Most spicing in Thai cooking comes from either dry roasted or fresh peppers. Bottled sauces seem to be used for dipping.

                              2. I eat chili garlic sauce by the tsp full so probably could tolerate that much heat but I'd start slow and add to taste.