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How to Make Chili Garlic Sauce at Home
How to Make Chili Garlic Sauce at Home
Chili garlic sauce from California Grown Creator Kate Ramos is made with only five ingredients and is so easy there’s no reason you shouldn’t be making it from scratch at home. The taste is just like Huy Fong sauce!
If you’ve been struggling to find the famous Huy Fong chili garlic sauce you’re not alone. Weather conditions have led to a chili pepper shortage in Mexico and the company has stopped production.
The good news? You can easily make your own at home. The total time to make it is minimal, like less than 10 minutes. The even better news? California chiles and garlic are always available!
Chili garlic sauce is one of our favorite condiment recipes. It is most commonly used as a dipping sauce for pot stickers and other dumplings. It can also be mixed into noodles or used to spice up everything from peanut sauce to scrambled eggs. The tangy, spicy sauce adds wonderful heat and punch to everything it touches.
Chili garlic sauce is a spicy condiment that was made famous by the Huy Fong company who also makes similar sauces like Sriracha, you know, the one with the rooster on the jar and the green lid. Lovers of spicy foods have been spooning this sauce onto their dim sum for years.
It is a good sauce for adding heat to recipes but is not insanely spicy. The garlic mellows it out a bit and the vinegar adds a nice tang. It is a really, well-rounded sauce.
A lot of recipes for copycat Huy Fong sauce you’ll find on the internet complicate things by adding fish sauce, onion, brown sugar, and even olive oil but this recipe pairs it down to the exact ingredients that are in each bottle of Huy Fong chili garlic sauce (minus the preservatives sodium bisulfite and potassium sorbate, of course).
Because there are so few ingredients in this sauce and it doesn’t get cooked you need to use the highest quality ingredients.
California grown garlic has a more mellow, sweeter flavor with big, juicy cloves. And if you’re wondering, all garlic sold commercially in the United States comes from California. It is one of 19 crops grown exclusively in California.
How can you know that your garlic is grown in California? Ask your grocer or look for the California-grown label. Or if you are lucky enough to live in California, buy garlic at your local farmers market, it is available year round.
- Fresno chiles — also known as red jalapeño chiles. These chiles were first cultivated in Fresno County, California, hence the name. They are what add the bright red color and heat.
- Jalapeño chiles — these are not typical in chili garlic sauce but I love the herbal note they add plus the little specks of green are nice.
- Garlic — there is a lot of garlic in this sauce (2 heads!!) but you need the sweetness of the garlic to mellow out all the chiles.
- Kosher salt — to bring out all the flavors.
- Champagne vinegar — I like using California champagne vinegar. It is slightly sweet, mellow with just the right amount of acidity and bite. Rice vinegar would also work.
Prep the chiles. Cut off the stems from the Fresno and jalapeño peppers. If you are not used to working with chiles, I suggest you wear gloves to protect your hands. They can start to burn. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face or eyes. If you would like this sauce less spicy you can cut each chile in half and remove the seeds and white ribs. Otherwise, cut each chile into 2 or 3 smaller pieces.
Prep the garlic. Remove the garlic cloves from the head of garlic and peel each clove. Cut off the hard stem end at the bottom of each clove.
Blend. Combine the chiles, garlic, teaspoon of salt, and vinegar in a blender and blend until it is chopped and still slightly chunky, about 15-20 seconds. Remove ¼ cup of this chunky chili garlic paste.
Continue blending. Keep blending the sauce until it is smooth, about 45 more seconds. Pour into a container and stir in the reserved ¼ cup of the chunky paste.
Save or serve. Seal the container and refrigerate for up to a month or serve immediately as a dipping sauce or stir into your favorite noodle recipe.
Even though it is typically served as a dipping sauce for dumplings. A sauce this good needs to be devoured at all times. Try it with these dishes:
- It is awesome swirled into soups. In the summertime, try adding it to gazpacho. In the winter, pho would be an obvious choice.
- Instead of red pepper flakes, add a drizzle of chili garlic sauce to your next slice of pizza.
- Add a spoonful next time you are stir-frying a pot of fried rice. Looking for a recipe? This Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe is pretty yummy.
- Spice up a beautiful plate of avocado sashimi.
- Add kick to our favorite roasted carrot recipe.
- It would also make a great dipping sauce for tempura vegetables.
- Be adventurous and add a spoonful to your next bowl of pasta instead of chili flakes.
How long does this last? Keep the homemade chili sauce in the fridge for up to a month.
Is this sauce gluten-free? Yes! Just chiles, garlic, salt and vinegar. That’s it!
What type of peppers should I use? This recipe calls for jalapeños and red Fresno chiles. If you can’t find Fresnos you can substitute red Thai chili peppers, but be careful, they are a lot spicier than Fresnos.
Do you need to cook this in a pan? Nope! There is no need to dirty that saucepan, this is a raw sauce that doesn’t need to be cooked.
Is chili garlic sauce healthy? Yes! It is low in calories and carbohydrates and high in vitamin C.
Be sure to share your favorite creations with Chili Garlic Sauce with us by snapping a pic and tagging us on social using #CAGROWN.
Craving more CA Grown goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspiration!
Homemade Chili Garlic Sauce Recipe
- 8 ounces Fresno chiles about 10 chiles
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup California champagne vinegar
- Remove the stems from the chiles and chop into 2 or 3 pieces each. Peel the garlic.
- Combine everything in a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Remove ¼ cup of the puree. Continue blending until mostly smooth, about 45 seconds more.
- Pour into a container and stir the reserved puree back into the sauce. Seal and refrigerate for up to a month.
Article and images by Kate Ramos.