This Chili Garlic Sauce is a copycat recipe for Trader Joe’s Chili Garlic Crunch, made fresh, with no preservatives!
Turn up the heat this Summer with my homemade Chili Garlic Sauce! If you are familiar with Chinese-American cooking, you may be familiar with “Huy Fong” chili garlic sauce.
This recipe is similar and pairs well with any dish you are looking to add some heat to.
Love sauces as much as I do? Check out my Chick-Fil-A Sauce, Garlic Butter Sauce, and BBQ Sauce recipes next!
Easy Chili Garlic Sauce Recipe
If you are familiar with the Chili Garlic Crunch from Trader Joe’s, you are going to love this homemade copycat version!
You probably know this already, but I am a sucker for a good sauce. There isn’t much that sauce can’t make taste better.
I typically opt out of spicy foods, but lately I’ve been enjoying mildly spicy sauces to just add a little bit of heat to some of my favorite dishes.
This Asian inspired condiment lends itself to being the perfect addition to Asian cuisine, but is also a “good on everything” condiment if you like to crank up the heat.
Put it on vegetables, put it on burgers, put it on steak, put it on everything! Once you get a taste of this chili garlic crunch, there will be no going back.
Chili Garlic Sauce Ingredients
Olive oil: for this recipe I used a light olive oil. It serves as the base of your sauce, so you want to ensure the oil you are using is still good. If it’s been sitting in your pantry for over a year, it might be time for a new bottle.
Herbs & spices: you don’t to want to skip out on any of these ingredients as this is where a lot of the incredible flavors in your sauce will come from. For this I used dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, chili pepper, and smoked paprika.
Peppers: surprise! To make this Chili Garlic Sauce, we will actually be using dried red bell peppers. I love the sweetness these peppers bring to the sauce.
Fish sauce: if you are familiar with Huy Fong sauce or enjoy the flavors of Asian cuisine, then I highly recommend adding a splash of fish sauce.
It adds a nice umami flavor, but for some people it can be too much, so it’s totally up to you if you want to add!
For extra heat, add a diced chili pepper!
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How to Make Chili Garlic Sauce
In less than 5 minutes, you can have your own homemade Chili Garlic Sauce, fresh and ready without preservatives and ready to use at your convenience.
To make the sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a glass jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake until fully combined.
The ingredients might settle on the bottom, so before using, give the jar another shake or stir with a spoon.
What to Serve with this sauce
This sauce tends to lend itself to Asian dishes. However, you can really put this sauce on anything you are looking to add flavor or bring in some heat.
Some recipes I enjoy adding Chili Garlic Sauce to are:
- Sesame Garlic Baby Bok Choy
- Air Fryer Cauliflower
- Blackened Salmon Rice Bowls
- Shrimp Pho Noodle Soup
- Whole30 Egg Roll In A Bowl
- Or my personal favorite: drizzled onto fresh warm, toasty bread
What is the difference between Sriracha and chili garlic sauce?
Although both delicious in their own way, there is a big difference between Sriracha and Chili Garlic Sauce.
You may not know this if you have never made Sriracha from scratch, but it contains added sugar! Sriracha is then fermented (kind of like beer) before bottling which gives it its slightly sour/pungent flavor.
Chili Garlic Sauce, on the other hand, doesn’t contain added sugar and is not fermented.
Depending on what dish you are serving it with, both are delicious!
Is chili garlic sauce the same as chili paste?
Traditionally speaking, in cooking, the main difference between a sauce and paste is the thickness and that applies here as well. Chili Garlic Sauce is thinner than chili paste. If you are looking for something with a thicker consistency, you may want or need chili paste.
I use chili paste to cook with and make sauces out of, this version is more of a condiment for me. Mostly because of the texture from the dried ingredients.
However, the biggest (and most notable) difference is the heat. If your recipe calls for chili paste, it’s because you need the bigger kick.
Where is chili garlic sauce from?
Chili garlic sauce is a Chinese-American inspired sauce that originated in the US. You can get a jarred/bottled form of it in stores by taking a trip down the Asian cuisine aisle and looking for Huy Fong.
What do you store your sauces in?
I love to store my homemade sauces in these Weck jars. You can also purchase wooden or plastic lids if you prefer those. The jars look so nice, I don’t mind leaving them on the counter!
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Chili Garlic Sauce
- 3/4 cup light olive oil, or other lightly flavored oil
- 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 3 tablespoons dried minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 chili pepper, minced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp dried red bell pepper
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce, optional
- Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake/stir until fully combined.
- Serve immediately or store in a glass jar for later.
I guess I have finally found a versatile sauce that you can put on everything. So glad I read this post.
And to think I’ve been buying chilli garlic sauce from the shops all the time when there was this easy and TASTIER version I could have been making. Great recipe – cheers!
This sauce looks so delicious! I’m definitely going to make this for our chicken tomorrow night! Can’t wait to put this on just about anything!
I would stock up on the TJ’s version and now I can make my own, so good thank you!
I was doing the same thing! I don’t live super close to TJ’s, so it’s helpful to be able to make it when I want!
I love chilli garlic sauce. I think it adds a lovely punch to recipes. But I haven’t made it at home till now. Your recipe is super simple. I must give it a try soon.
I am seriously addicted to this sauce from Traders so thanks for decoding it so I can make it at home! I love it on so many things – veggies, potstickers, shrimp – it’s perfect and I’ve already made it twice.
Yes! I love that sauce so much.
I love chili garlic sauce. I used in most of my rice and meat dishes. They blend well in Asian food recipes.
Can you used fresh ingredients instead of the dry ones
Hi! I haven’t tried it, but I think the red pepper and onion would be best dried since it has a different flavor profile. If you give it a try, please let me know how it turns out!
Website is terrible
So are you 🙂
Now making my second batch!
Initially made this sauce for some Thai recipes (which was delicious) but after an experiment it’s now my go to sauce to mix with my barbecue sauce for air fried wings. Couple tablespoons of chili sauce mixed with barbecue sauce makes a great chicken wing sauce when making air fried wings. More or less depending how spicy your taste buds prefer. Love it!
That sounds delicious! So glad you are loving it 🙂
So easy to make and I added a little ground serrano to give a bigger kick!
Very yummy and very easy!! Quick question should I store in fridge or in pantry?
You can store it in the pantry 🙂
Dang, forgot to pick up a fresh chili, perhaps add some chili powder and hope for the best.
it really is a versatile sauce! Delicious!!! Thanks!!!!