So last weekend, I watched a video about genetically engineered food and some unfortunate rats. Don’t worry, I’m not becoming an opinionated health freak. I’ve been reading up on this and that, trying to stay rational, and generally making an effort to be aware of what we eat – and I already thought we were pretty good in that area.
Yet, case and point, I read the ingredients on our peanut butter, only to find it’s made with soy and hydrogenated oil. What?/Why? I never bothered to check earlier, because those cuddly bears and a big brand on the label convinced me my peanut butter was 100% wholesome. The bears lie. I paid $1 more and got us some nice organic peanut butter, and couldn’t believe the taste. Being on the organic roll, I bought a bag of onions, and with shock rediscovered that onions are supposed to make you cry. This is crazy.
I’m happy to upend my complacent little world. Here’s a homemade sweet chili sauce, just like that ones you get in the bottle, except it’s not loaded with preservatives and you control the amount of sugar. It goes great with Vietnamese Fish Cakes
, or roasted chicken.
- 4 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 fresh red thai chilies, seeded and chopped
- 1 sweet red bell pepper, finely diced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 2 tbs rice vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Heat the oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chilies and red bell pepper, and saute until lightly browned. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Remove ⅔ of the mixture and place in a blender. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar, then and puree until smooth. (A tall container and an immersion blender works best for this). Return the mixture to the pan with the sauteed vegetables, and saute for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add the water and mix well, then bring to the boil.
- You can vary the consistency by adding more, or less water. To make a thicker sauce, mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 3 tsp of water and add to the sauce, then bring to a brief boil again.
- Transfer to a lidded jar. You can safely keep the sauce in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or pop leftovers in a small freezer bag and freeze. It never lasted that long in our house, anyway.