If our guide to Australia’s must-try Sichuan dishes left you with a hunger for more hot and spicy Asian dishes, then read on to learn all about Asia’s best chilli sauces, from mild to mind-blowing.
Hailing from Thailand, this mild and mellow condiment works a treat as a dipping sauce for spring rolls and fish cakes, or as a marinade for seafood, like these barbecued sweet chilli seafood skewers. Top brands to try include Mae Ploy, Yeo’s and Ong’s, or have a crack at making your own version using this recipe for fried fish with sweet chilli sauce.
A blend of fermented beans, chillies, oil and garlic, Chinese chilli bean paste lends a rich savoury flavour and heat to Sichuan dishes such as simmered beef hot pot and ma po tofu. You’ll find Lee Kum Kee chilli bean paste in your supermarket.
An essential on any table in Malaysian and Indonesia, sambal is a pungent blend of chillies, lime, spices, salt, sugar and belacan (dried shrimp paste). Add sambal to everything from nasi lemak for breakfast to Malaysian sambal chicken for dinner. You’ll find jars of Yeo’s Sambal in your local supermarket.
While its origins are debated, one of the most ubiquitous chilli sauces across the world is Sriracha, made from sun-ripened chillies, vinegar and spices. You’ll see the signature squeezy, green-topped bottles on restaurant tables from Melbourne to Manhattan, Bangkok to Britain. Add a squirt of this lip-smacking hot sauce to your bowl of pho, plate of fried noodles or weekend scrambled eggs. For an Indonesian hot sauce, look for the popular ABC brand.
Spicy, sour and aromatic, Malaysian chilli sauce may include added flavourings such as lemongrass, garlic, tamarind and turmeric. Buy a bottle of Lingham’s Chilli Sauce or whip up a batch using this recipe for Malaysian chilli sauce.
Korea’s signature spice paste is gochujang, a rust-red paste of red chilli powder, doenjang (fermented soybean paste), glutinous rice flour and salt. Embrace the earthy warmth of gochujang with these five ways to use gochujang at home, or try this authentic recipe for Korean chilli pork.
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