- 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Fresno or red jalapeno chile
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Sea salt
1. Place the garlic, chile, and red bell pepper in a food processor and pulse, scraping down the bowl if necessary, until finely chopped.
2. Combine ⅓ cup water, the vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chili mixture. Reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer until the garlic is soft, about 4 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water until dissolved.
4. Return the sauce to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch and water mixture and continue to cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Continue to boil and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Makes about ⅔ cup.
About this recipe
“An exotic shiny and sweet sauce, Xanadu pepper dream was inspired by the slightly gummy, translucent red Thai sweet chili sauce I’ve found in local Asian supermarkets. I’ve always loved the addictive flavor, but wondered about the preservatives in the ingredients. So I decided to see if I could create a homemade facsimile. This version has a brighter flavor due in part to the fresh peppers. Its unctuous texture and attractive sheen come from a bit of cornstarch. From wontons to egg rolls, it’s great with anything hot, crisp, and fried.” -- Vanessa Seder
Recipes used with permission from Secret Sauces by Vanessa Seder, photography by Stacey Cramp.