Easy Homemade Tuong Ot Toi Recipe: Vietnamese Garlic Chili Sauce

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine diving into the vibrant world of Vietnamese cuisine with a staple condiment that adds a punch to nearly any dish: Tương ớt tỏi. This fiery garlic chili sauce blends heat, sweetness, and tanginess, making it a must-have in your culinary arsenal. Whether you’re drizzling it over noodles, stirring into soups, or using it as a marinade, tương ớt tỏi brings a burst of flavor that transforms the ordinary into extraordinary.

Originating from the bustling street food scenes of Vietnam, this sauce has captured the hearts of food lovers worldwide. Its versatility and bold flavor profile make it a popular choice for enhancing not just Vietnamese dishes but also various other cuisines. Ready to whip up a batch? Let’s explore how you can create this delightful sauce right in your kitchen, ensuring you can add a touch of Vietnam to your meals anytime.


Ready to bring the heat of Vietnamese streets into your kitchen? Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Tương ớt tỏi.

Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh red chili peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon lime juice for added tanginess

Equipment Required

To craft your own Tương ớt tỏi at home, having the right tools can make the process smoother and more enjoyable. Here’s what you’ll need to gather from your kitchen:

Essential Tools

  • Food Processor or Blender: This is crucial for blending the chili peppers and garlic into a smooth paste. If you prefer a chunkier texture, pulse your ingredients briefly.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy in measuring your ingredients such as vinegar, water, sugar, and salt is key to achieving the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Cooking Pot: You will need a small to medium pot for simmering the sauce, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Stirring Spoon: A wooden or heat-resistant plastic spoon is perfect for stirring your sauce as it cooks, ensuring it doesn’t stick or burn.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: If you desire a silky-smooth texture, pass the blended mixture through a strainer to remove any solid bits.
  • Jars or Bottles for Storage: Clean, airtight containers are essential for storing your Tương ớt tỏi. Glass jars or bottles are preferred as they don’t absorb smells and are easy to sterilize.
  • Kitchen Gloves: Handling red chili peppers can irritate your skin, so it’s wise to protect your hands with gloves.

Gathering these tools in advance will streamline your cooking process, allowing you to focus on crafting a delicious, homemade Tương ớt tỏi.

Preparation Steps

Once you’ve gathered your tools, it’s time to dive into making your Tương ớt tỏi. Follow these preparation steps closely to ensure you create a vibrant and flavorful sauce.

Cleaning and Preparation

Begin by washing your chili peppers under cold water to remove any dirt and pesticides. It’s advisable to wear kitchen gloves during this process to protect your hands from the chili’s heat. Next, trim off the stems and, depending on your heat preference, either leave the seeds in for extra spiciness or remove them for a milder flavor.

Peel the garlic cloves. You can lightly crush them with the side of your knife to make the peeling easier. Ensure all ingredients are thoroughly cleaned and prepped before moving to the next step. This meticulous cleaning ensures no unwanted impurities interfere with the taste and safety of your sauce.

Measuring Ingredients

Accurately measure your ingredients to maintain the balance of flavors in your Tương ớt tỏi. You will need:

  • Chili peppers: 1 cup, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 1/4 cup, minced
  • White vinegar: 1/2 cup
  • Sugar: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon

Using measuring cups and spoons helps in achieving the precise taste that makes Tương ớt tỏi uniquely pungent and tangy. After measuring, set each component aside in separate bowls, ready for cooking. This preparation ensures a smooth transition into the cooking phase without any hiccups.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your ingredients are prepped and your kitchen is equipped, let’s dive into the cooking process that will transform these raw ingredients into a fragrant and fiery Tương ớt tỏi.

Cooking the Garlic

Start by heating about two tablespoons of neutral oil, like canola or vegetable oil, in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add your minced garlic. Stir constantly to prevent the garlic from burning. You want the garlic to turn a golden brown, which usually takes about 1 to 2 minutes. This step is crucial as golden garlic will infuse the sauce with a nutty and aromatic flavor without the bitterness that burnt garlic could introduce.

Assembly and Storage

Now that you’ve crafted your aromatic Tương ớt tỏi sauce, let’s discuss how to assemble and store it properly to maintain its robust flavor and freshness.

Combining Ingredients

Once your garlic is golden brown and fragrant, you’re ready to add the chili peppers to the saucepan. Stir them together with the garlic, ensuring that the chilies are well-coated with the infused oil. Cook this mixture for about 2 minutes, which allows the flavors to meld beautifully. Next, gradually pour in your vinegar and sugar mixture, stirring constantly to combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Allow the sauce to simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Your Tương ớt tỏi should have a rich, vibrant red color and a texture that’s not too thick but clings gently to a spoon.

Storing the Sauce

Proper storage is key to extending the life of your homemade sauce and preserving its flavors. Allow the sauce to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the Tương ớt tỏi into a clean, airtight glass jar. This will help minimize exposure to air which can alter the flavor and freshness of the sauce. Store the sealed jar in the refrigerator, where it can be kept for up to a month. Always use a clean spoon when serving the sauce to prevent contamination that might spoil it. The chilled environment of the fridge will also help the flavors to continue maturing, potentially enhancing the sauce over time.

Serving Suggestions

After your Tương ớt tỏi is ready and matured to perfection, exploring how to incorporate this vibrant sauce into your meals can transform everyday dishes into delightful culinary experiences. Here are several serving suggestions to get you started:

Elevate Your Breakfast

Drizzle a little Tương ớt tỏi over your morning eggs—whether they’re scrambled, fried, or poached. The sauce adds a lively burst of flavor that pairs wonderfully with the creamy texture of eggs.

Enhance Main Courses

Mix Tương ớt tỏi into stir-fries or use it as a spicy glaze for grilled meats. It works exceptionally well with chicken, beef, or seafood, imparting a tangy, spicy kick that enhances the natural flavors of the proteins.

Reinvent Snacks

Transform your snacking habits by adding a small bowl of Tương ớt tỏi as a dipping sauce for vegetable sticks, spring rolls, or dumplings. Its robust flavor elevates even the simplest snacks.

Spice Up Soups and Noodles

A spoonful of Tương ớt tỏi stirred into your soup or noodle dish can deeply enrich the broth, giving it a warm, garlicky heat that’s especially comforting during colder months.

Create Unique Salad Dressings

Whisk Tương ớt tỏi with some olive oil, vinegar, and a touch of honey to create a dynamic salad dressing. It’s perfect for livening up green salads or cold noodle salads with a deliciously spicy twist.

These suggestions merely scratch the surface of how you can incorporate this versatile sauce into your daily cooking. Experiment with different dishes, and you might discover your unique favorite combination.


Now that you’ve got the scoop on crafting your very own Tương ớt tỏi why not give it a go? Whether you’re drizzling it over morning eggs or mixing it into your favorite dishes this sauce is sure to add a kick of flavor. Remember the joy of cooking comes from experimenting so don’t hesitate to get creative with how you use your homemade chili sauce. Happy cooking and enjoy the zesty additions to your meals!

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