All purpose chili sauce is exactly what it is. It can be used in pretty much anything that called for chili sauce. It can be sweetened or not according to your needs.
It never ceases to amaze me why little people (aka my kids) seem to have soooo many things when it comes to packing for vacation. We are not going on a vacation, but when we do, the luggage are usually packed with their stuff. My husband and I only had a little corner to ourselves. They say woman has lots of stuff to pack usually, well, that’s true, but my quota has been taken over. So I usually only packed whatever that is “necessary”. Is swimsuit a necessity or vanity? Is lacey outfit practical when your 2-year old can’t stop pulling on it ? The answer to those will decide whether they get tossed aside or go inside the luggage. I know this packing situation will change overtime as they grow and we’ll just have to make do and move on for now.
Will it raise a concern if I tell you that I’m more concern about not having chili sauce with my meal when on vacation than not being able to bring my swimsuit in the luggage ? It’s really is a big concern to me when we travel to places where we have limited access to spicy food. I, for one, not able to live without chili (period). I just can’t. It’s like I can’t eat without it. As a matter of fact, my husband is the same way (I’m wondering now if that’s why we are married!). So, I often pack chili sauce or chili flakes with me. I can swallow not-so-good-tasting food if I have a chili sauce to numb it! Needless to say, there’s always some sort of chili sauce around the house. Store-bought sriracha and/or homemade chili sauce. I even pack chili sauce with me when we travel or on the roadtrip. Yes I do!!
This all-purpose chili sauce right here is one of my favorites. It’s made with large Mexican dried chili which is not spicy at all. Would you believe me if I tell you my 2-year old LOVE this chili sauce ? Yup! he ate it with pizza the other night and put a spoonful of it inside his mouth. I just watched with my mouth ajar. It can be made the way it is, not spicy (as shown in the recipe below) or you can spike it with some Thai chili for that heat. I love it because the dried shrimp in this recipe really gives that wonderful flavor that is simply not the same without it. I used it to make fried rice, stir-fried noodles, or to toss this super simple spicy and tangy noodles in, or you can use it to cook this egg sambal, sambal ikan teri, sambal tempeh, kari ayam or pretty much whatever your pretty heart desires.
Sambal serba guna / All-purpose chili sauce
- 2 oz of large dried Mexican chili but you can use Thai or Chinese dried chili too
- 3 Thai chili - optional for extra spicyness
- 1/4 cup of small to medium dried shrimp available at refrigerated section in Asian grocery store
- 1/2 cup of boiling water
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup of coconut sugar or regular sugar/brown sugar
- Pinch of salt to taste optional
Other things you can add to the chili sauce:
- Asian fermented bean paste
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Vinegar or lime juice for tartness
Briefly rinse the dried chili and dried shrimp with water and then pat them dry. Cut off the stems and place them in a large heat-proof container or even better put them directly into the food processor (less things for you to wash). Very carefully pour in 1/2 cup of boiling water and let them soak for about 10 minutes until soft. Add in the garlic and then whirl them into a fine paste. They will be a bit runny but will thicken up when you cook them
Transfer the chili mixture into a medium sauce pan, add in sugar and pinch of salt and bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes or until they are slightly thickened. Have a taste and add more salt to your taste if needed. Transfer into a heat-proof container. Good for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. You can double or triple the recipe and freeze them. Just let them thaw in the refrigerator and they will be ready to use again.
If you want a version with oil
Just add about 1/4 cup of oil in to the cooked chili and stir to mix. It may splatter a bit but nothing too messy
This AP chili sauce can be make into sweet chili sauce too by just adding more sugar
Here’s the Amazon affiliate links to show you some of the ingredients
Making your own chili sauce isn’t that complicated, is it ?