The Basics

Ingredient of the Week: Chili Garlic Sauce

What is it?

Made from sun-ripened chili peppers and garlic, this condiment is a favorite of those who like their foods spicy. It's hotter and, obviously, more garlicky than its more famous sister sauce, Sriracha hot sauce (also called Rooster or Cock sauce because of the image on the bottle), which is tangier due to higher vinegar content.

How do I use it?

It's not your average ketchup, but you can replace any condiment with hot chili garlic sauce for a flavorful kick. Dip your fries in it; top your hot dogs and burgers with it; add it to your soups, pizzas, noodles, rice, and stir-fries.

You can also use chili garlic sauce as a marinade--that's what I did this week when I had to whip up something quick. I always have a jar of Sriracha-brand chili garlic sauce in my fridge, so I added it to a marinade for chicken. See below for the recipe.

Where can I find it?

In the condiment aisle of any Asian grocery store, or the Asian section of the international aisle of any other grocery store.

Recipe: In a bowl, combine eight chicken legs; one lower half of a lemongrass stalk, minced; some chopped onion, fish sauce and sugar to taste; and chili garlic sauce -- half to one whole teaspoon should be plenty. Remember, you can always add more later as a condiment, but you'll be crying if it's too spicy to eat. Cover and let marinate for an hour. Bake in the oven at 375°F for one hour, turning legs over halfway through cooking. Serve with rice.

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Christine Ha
Contact: Christine Ha