I’m always looking for my next food adventure and gathering flavours, recipes and cooking intelligence to share far and wide. In Bali, I love the abundant fresh produce, the liberal use of aromatic spices and the fondness for chilli. But what I don’t love is getting ‘chilli eye’ after deseeding chillies and then absent-mindedly putting my hand to my face. I spent a day cooking with the lovely Reggie, learning about Indonesian ingredients, dishes and techniques and, as always, it can be the little things that create the biggest wow factor. In this case, it was Reggie’s fun and clever way to deseed chillies. It can be summarised as ‘massage, slit, tap’. This simple technique is a game-changer!
It got me thinking about the last time I spiced up my eye with some chilli. It was while making Neil Perry’s addictive Chilli Sauce, adapted from his Spice Temple cookbook. This sauce is beautiful! Spice, sweetness and salt are brilliantly balanced, making this a great sauce for dipping, dolloping and slathering. I have it on dumplings, rice dishes, toasted sandwiches and roast vegetables. You can also add it to marinades and dressings. I love it – and my passion has deepened now that I have a way to make it without spicing up my whole face.
Neil Perry’s Chilli Sauce
Makes: about 500 ml (17 oz / 2 cups)
Time: 1 hour
- 500 grams (17.6 oz) fresh long, red chillies, seeds removed
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 300 grams (10.5 oz) canola oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 50 grams (1.7 oz) light soy sauce
1. Place chillies and garlic into mixing bowl and process 15 sec/speed 4.5, until you have a rough paste.
2. Whilst mixing on speed 3, gradually add the oil through hole in mixing bowl lid, blending to a smooth consistency.
3. Add the salt and sugar to mixing bowl and cook 20 min/100°C (212°F)/speed 1, then 25 min/Varoma/speed 1 until the sauce has turned bright red and the raw taste has cooked out.
4. Add soy sauce and stir 15 sec/speed 2. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Stored in a sterilised jar, this chilli sauce will keep indefinitely in the fridge.
- To sterilise jars, wash glass jars and metal lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse in hot water, then dry in a 110°C (230°F) oven. Fill while hot, wipe rim with a wet paper towel, then seal lid. Store in a cool, dark place and, once opened, store in the fridge where sauce will keep for a month or more.
- Leave in some of the seeds if you want a spicier result.
- Mix up your chillies: green and red chillies can both be used. You could also add some dried chillies, including smoked and dried Mexican chillies for a different flavour profile.
- Add a few Sichuan peppercorns at step 3 for extra buzz.
More about this recipe
Looking for a little more spice in your life? I have lots more wonderful chilli recipes here. One of my favourites is this Chilli & Lime Crumb.
If you’re looking for something to put the fire out after dinner try these delicious dry ice sorbet recipes:
- Gelato Messina’s Passionfruit Dry Ice Sorbet – smooth, frozen freshness that has to be tasted to be believed.
- Cucumber, Lime & Mint Dry Ice Sorbet – another exciting sorbet using dry ice.
Did you know Dani Valent gift vouchers are available right here? They make the perfect present for the Thermo-lover in your life.
Thanks Arwen Genge for this lovely pic of the chilli sauce.