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Heat and Sweet: 5 Simple Substitutes for Sweet Chili Sauce

Ah, sweet chili sauce — that perfect blend of spicy kick and sugary undertones; it’s the hero ingredient in many dishes. Sometimes, though, you reach into your pantry and — surprise! — it’s not there.

Before you ditch your cooking plans, remember that kitchen creativity often leads to the most delicious discoveries.

In this guide, you’ll find five easy-peasy swaps for sweet chili sauce that might already be hiding in your kitchen.

From DIY hacks to unexpected alternatives, prepare to keep your taste buds dancing while saving your dinner plans. Stay tuned because who knows? You might stumble upon your new favorite condiment trick.

1 – Hot Sauce and Honey

Mixing hot sauce with honey might be the simplest hack you need when you’re out of sweet chili sauce.

Why does it work so well? Hot sauce brings the heat, and honey adds that sweet touch you’re missing. Together, they mimic the spicy-sweet balance that sweet chili sauce is loved for. Here’s the scoop on how to whip it up:

  • Mix about one part hot sauce with one and a half parts honey.
  • Taste as you go because some like it hotter, and others want it sweeter.
  • Use this mix just like you would sweet chili sauce — drizzle over chicken wings, stir into a stir-fry, or use it as a zingy dip.

It’s that easy.

2 – Plum Sauce and Hot Sauce

When you’re out of sweet chili sauce, plum sauce mixed with hot sauce is a fantastic stand-in.

Why does this combo rock? The plum sauce has that sweet and tangy vibe, while hot sauce adds the necessary heat kick.

It’s a great match because it balances sweetness with spice, similar to sweet chili sauce. Mix one part hot sauce with four parts plum sauce to make this swap work.

This blend is awesome in stir-fries, as a glaze for meats, or even as a dipping sauce for egg rolls. Just stir these two together, and boom, you have a sweet, tangy, slightly spicy sauce that’ll rescue any dish.

3 – Chili Sauce and Sweetener

Got chili sauce and something sweet like sugar or maple syrup? You’re in luck because they make a killer substitute for sweet chili sauce.

Here’s why it rocks: chili sauce has the spicy base down, and by adding a sweetener, you dial in that signature sweetness. To get it just right, blend one part sweetener with two parts chili sauce.

This DIY mix is perfect for giving a sweet and spicy kick to marinades, dressings, or dipping sauces. Just mix them, and you’re good to go. The ratio is easy to remember and adjust based on how sweet or spicy you like.

4 – Hoisin Sauce, Vinegar, and Red Pepper Flakes

This combo is a lifesaver if you’reyou still need sweet chili sauce. Hoisin sauce offers a deep, sweet flavor, the base we’re looking for.

Vinegar adds the tangy kick, and red pepper flakes bring the heat. Together, they create a rich, spicy, and sweet sauce that’s surprisingly close to sweet chili sauce.

For every dish that needs that sweet chili touch, mix about four parts hoisin sauce with one part vinegar, and sprinkle in red pepper flakes to taste.

This mixture is fantastic in everything from marinades to glazes to dips. Adjust the red pepper flakes based on how spicy you like it. With this blend, you keep the food fun without a fuss.

5 – Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce

If you’ve got a bit more time, making your own sweet chili sauce is a fantastic choice. This way, you control the flavor balance perfectly.

Plus, it’s pretty fun! You only need a few basic ingredients and a couple of steps. It’s a great option because you get to make it just how you like it, with just the right amount of sweet and heat.

List of Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red chili (adjust based on your heat preference)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (to thicken)
  • 2 tablespoons water (to mix with cornstarch)

How-to Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix the first 1/2 cup of water, vinegar, and sugar. Heat it up until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the garlic and chili. Simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  3. Mix cornstarch with the 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Stir it into the saucepan.
  4. Keep stirring over heat until the sauce thickens. This takes about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Cool it down, and it’s ready to use!

Substitute Ratio:

Use it exactly as you would sweet chili sauce because, well, it is sweet chili sauce!

Making your own sauce might sound like a bit of work, but it’s super straightforward. Plus, it’s rewarding to taste a batch of sauce you’ve crafted to match your taste buds perfectly. Give it a go!