Homemade chili paste is the perfect dipping sauce to give your meal a kick of heat. It’s sweet, spicy, full of flavor, and goes with everything. Discover how easy it is to make with our step-by-step guide.
There’s a good reason why chilies are used in so many cuisines from around the world: They help give any dish that oomph factor. Our paste today will give you just that, with a condiment that can be added to almost anything.
This easy and quick recipe gives a light flavor and aroma, while retaining so much of the flavor packed in our spicy friend. Hope you all enjoy it!
What’s really great is that this chili paste can be stored for up to a month, so you can always have it on hand to use for any meal of your choosing. Whether it’s a marinade, dipping sauce, or condiment, this stuff goes brilliantly with a whole range of things. Be adventurous!
Make sure you have a blender on hand for this, as well as a wok or frying pan, and you’ll be set!
Red Chili Paste vs. Red Chili Sauce
Chili paste is thicker in consistency and has a more potent chili flavor. Usually, you use it during the cooking process to enhance the flavor of a dish. Chili sauce is thinner and less potent because it contains other ingredients besides chilies. You use it to season a dish toward the end of cooking or even before serving.
Best Type of Red Chilies
Any dried red chilies work well with this recipe. If you want to keep it authentic to the Asian cuisines that red chili paste is usually used in, use dried Szechuan chilies or Kashmiri chilies. For a Mexican twist, you can substitute ancho chilies, although they have a slightly smokier taste.
Dried chilies are better for chili paste because they have a deeper, more complex flavor. While fresh chilies provide pure heat, dried chilies have a more complex flavor thanks to the aging process. However, try to pick dried chilies that are as fresh as possible because the flavor starts to break down with age.
Most chili paste recipes call for soaking the chilies in boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes. This rehydrates dried chilies and softens the texture, which makes it easier to grind them up into a paste. It also enhances some of their flavor.
Cooking chilies helps make the spiciness more manageable by breaking down some of the capsaicin. It also helps you reduce the moisture content in the chilies as you can drain the liquids after cooking, making it easier to form a more cohesive paste.
Add Lime Juice
Lime juice or any other type of acid helps to preserve chili paste for longer and makes it more resistant against spoiling. The acidity also cuts through the pure heat of the chili paste, balancing out the flavor a bit more.
How to Thicken Homemade Chili Paste
Ideally, your homemade chili paste should be thick and almost solid in consistency. If you notice that it is thin and runny, try cooking it for longer to separate the oil and some of the other liquids. Try draining off some of the liquids and add a few more chilis to increase the solid content.
Easy Homemade Chili Paste
- food blender
- 4 oz dried red chili ends cut off
- 2 green onions chopped
- 10 cloves garlic
- 5 macadamia nuts
- 1 tsp palm or white sugar
- Soak the chilies in warm water for 20 minutes
- Drain the chillies and put them along with everything else in a blender.
- Blend, and add water until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
- Heat some oil in a wok or saucepan, then fry the chilli paste on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Let cool, the store for up to a month in the fridge.
- Heat the oil in a deep wok or saucepan, then fry the chilli paste on medium heat for about 5 minutes until fragrant.
- Let the paste cool, then store for up to a month in the fridge.