Serious Eats

My Thai: Thai Sweet Chili Jelly

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[Photographs: Leela Punyaratabandhu]

Gee. I took a nap, and summer is drawing to a close. Soon there will be people looking for ways to preserve the bounty of their summer gardens. If you're one of those who ended up with more chili peppers than you can use in a short period of time, here's an idea for you.

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This is essentially a sweeter (you need all that sugar for the jelly to set), more gelatinous version of Thai sweet chili sauce which many of us love. Whenever you unexpectedly run out of your homemade or storebought Thai sweet chili sauce, it's nice to know that you can just grab a jar of Thai sweet chili jelly and thin it out with some warm water to make a dipping sauce.

You can also use this as a glaze in a savory meat dish. You can mix it with some mayo and make a sandwich spread out of it. You mix this jelly with some soy sauce or oyster sauce and some broth and make a simmering/braising sauce. There are so many things you can do with this flavorful jelly.

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You can use any type of chili pepper or any combination of multiple types. You can even use green-colored peppers, but the flavor will be a little different and the color won't be as pretty.

As for the level of heat, the type(s) of pepper you use will largely determine that. The amounts of seeds and veins (where capsaicin resides) of the peppers also play a big part. If you're very sensitive to heat, remove all of the seeds and veins. If you'd like your jelly somewhat hotter, remove some of the seeds and veins. My fellow daredevils can do what I do here: sneak in a few habaneros and remove none of the seeds and veins (hohohoho).

Keep in mind, though, that the jelly will gradually lose its heat the longer it's stored. So if you end up with a jelly that is a little hotter than you would like, simply let it sit in the cupboard for a couple of weeks.

About the author: Leela is the author of the Thai food blog SheSimmers.com. You can follow her at @shesimmers


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