Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sweet Thai Chile Sauce


There’s not much to say about this other than it’s freaking fantastic!  This stuff tastes like unicorn blood, I swear.

Lightly sweet, with a slight tang, and a punch in the face of heat (if you choose, and you should).

I ran into this recipe a long time ago, and I’ve been devouring it ever since.  I’ve probably had more people ask for this recipe than any other, and I go through this stuff like it’s going out of style.

My favorite way to eat this sauce is when it’s drenching sticky calrose rice.  Nothing more, just rice and this killer sauce.

Sweet Thai Chile Sauce

3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 Tbsp salt (yes, I know the spoon in the pic is tsp…)
2 Tbsp Sambal

1 Tbsp potato starch
1 Tbsp Water

**NOTE: You could certainly use 7-8 red bird thai chiles if you can find them instead of sambal, and you could also cut back on the sambal for less heat.  I don’t  recommend using the more common green bird thai chiles, or other green chiles like jalapeno or serrano.  There’s something about their herby green flavor that turned me off.

And if you don’t have potato starch, corn starch would work, but make sure you continue the cooking for a couple of minutes afterwards to cook off the commonly starchy flavor that corn adds.  Your sauce might be slightly more cloudy if you use corn instead of potato.  Also, you could use arrowroot, but I noticed in the past, that it tended to separate in the ‘fridge after a couple of weeks.


Put the first 6 ingredients in a blender and buzz for a while, until orangey and kinda frothy.  Everything should be well blended, but you should still see small chunks of chiles and garlic.


Put the blended mixture into a small pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook the mixture about 15-20 minutes on a low simmer, for the flavors to blend.  Meanwhile, mix the starch and water in a small container, and after the sauce has cooked for a couple of minutes, slowly add the starchy water to thicken.  Don’t just dump it all in! Depending on how much starch you used, your sauce will thicken differently.  Dribble a little in, stir, and then cook a couple of minutes (~5) while the starch thickens.  Look at the consistency and judge if you need more.  I’ve definitely messed this up, and ended up with sweet thai chile pudding before, so don’t over do the starch!

I hope you find this sauce as delectable as I do, and now I can just direct people to this page when they inevitably ask for this recipe!

Kale, Bitter Kale (Chips)


I’ve been meaning to put these up for quite some time now, because, simply, they are AMAZING.

Even though some of you might balk at the idea of bitter greens (which I, by the way, LOVE), you still have to try these.  They’ll change how to look at greens.

Once the kale has baked in the oven, they turn ultra crispy, way crispier than a potato chip (but still nice and salty, if you’re a salt monger, like I am), but they still have a little of that veggitive undertone.  It’s really wonderful.  And these chips are soooooo easy to make!  Plus kale is hyper nutrient dense (Score)!

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt (or other flakey salt)
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Heat your oven to 350 F.

For each leaf, in a bunch of kale, fold the leaf in half so the spine is exposed on one side.  Use a knife to cut the stalk/spine off (it’s too tough and bitter), and then roughly chop the remaining leafy parts.  Be sure to rise the kale well, as they usually have quite a bit of dirt on them.  Lay them out on a towel lined sheet to wick away some extra moisture.  Place all your leaf pieces into a big bowl.


Toss the kale with a just enough olive oil to coat, and season with big flakey kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Now here’s where you can be creative, if you choose.  You could certainly toss in some garlic, or maybe some balsamic, what have you, but I think you’ll be surprised at just how good simple ol’ salt and pepper are on these chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment, and then dump your kale out onto the sheet.


Place in the oven for about 40 min, or until the kale is crispy.  Touch them every 15 or so minutes, because they may look limp, but they’ll be crackling crisp before you know it!