This homemade chili sauce recipe is from my Mother-in-law, Madam Ho. She will make these every time she comes to visit and my husband and I just can’t get enough of it. What I like about this chili sauce is that it’s incredibly simple to make yet very satisfying and goes well with almost everything from fried bee hoon (rice noodles), fried fish to keropok (crackers), chicken rice and even spring rolls.
It is also suitable for people who for health reason or others wish to avoid belacan (shrimp paste) as it consist of all natural ingredients plus basic seasonings.
Calamansi VS Kaffir Lime
This particular homemade chili sauce recipe requires the use of calamansi juice (limau kasturi). Calamansi are small green limes that you can normally get in a packet from supermarket. We grow ours in our garden because it does not require too much space or maintenance. The difference between calamansi and kaffir lime (limau purut) is that the former has a yellowish flesh when ripen while the latter has white pale flesh.
Kaffir lime and kaffir leaves are used in Thai cooking such as the spicy tom yam soup. It is possible to replace calamansi with other type of lime juice but it will definitely taste slightly different from this recipe. The photo below shows cross sections of ripe calamansi lime.
I usually chop the chilies and garlic by hand so that it’s slightly chunky and lends more “bite” to the chili sauce. However, working with raw chilies can leave an unpleasant residue on the hands. Some people suggest washing with yogurt or milk afterwards to remove the chili residue. I prefer to wear surgical gloves when handling chili to avoid the chilies coming into contact with the skin.
Alternatively, you can use a food processor to pulverize the chili sauce mixture but make sure not to overdo it. Leaving chunks of chili and garlic bits make the chili dip taste better. It is better to use large red chili to make this chili dip because bird eye chili (cili padi) would be too spicy (and that’s speaking from experience).
Now, on to the next page for the recipe >>