Singapore Red Chili Sauce

Sweet, tangy, and spicy, this Singapore Red Chili Sauce combines chilies, garlic, ginger, and golden raisins(!) for an enticing and habit-forming condiment.

Six finished jars of Singapore Red Chili Sauce

This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*

I never thought of myself as someone who favored hot sauces and spicy pickles. However, given that this is my second such preserve in just the last couple months, it’s probably time to come to terms with the changes in my taste buds. My theory? The isolation of the early parenthood and the pandemic has left me looking for excitement wherever I can find it. Thankfully, it’s a pretty innocuous way to get a few kicks.

A mental surface covered with fresh, red chilies.

You start the Ball® Singapore Red Chili Sauce by chopping enough red chili peppers to total four cups. I found that I needed two pounds of chilies to get me to that volume. The recipe doesn’t offer guidance about how to chop the peppers, so I used my food processor. I like the uniform chop that it gives and it kept the bulk of the hot pepper oils off my hands.

Garlic, ginger, golden raisins, vinegar, chopped peppers, sugar, and salt. These are the ingredients for the chili sauce.
Just a note. The recipe calls for white vinegar, but all I had was apple cider vinegar, so I made the swap. As long as both vinegars have 5% acidity, it’s a safe switch to make.

When you’re ready to cook, take a moment to set up your canning pot. Fit your pot with a rack (I like the silicone mat that comes with the Ball® Canning Starter Kit). Place seven half pint jars (I used Ball® Smooth Sided half pints here) on top of the mat and fill the jars and pot with tap water (the recipe yield is 6 half pints, but my yield was actually seven, so heat the extra jar. It may pay off). Add a generous splash of white vinegar to prevent mineral deposits on your jars, and place the pot on the stove to heat.

Wash your new lids and rings with warm, soapy water and set them aside so that they’re ready for you when you’re ready for them.

Chopped red peppers in a food processor bowl.

Finally, combine 2 1/2 cups of white vinegar and 2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar in a large, non-reactive pot and bring that to a gentle a boil. Simmer for a few minutes to reduce. Then, add the chopped peppers along with 1 1/2 cups golden raisins, 1/4 cup chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring it to a boil and cook for approximately five minutes, until the vegetables are heated through.

Make sure you have your windows open or your exhaust fan running as you bring this sauce up to a boil (or both!), as it puts off an intensely peppery, vinegar forward scent.

Finished red chili sauce in an orange pot.

Once the chili sauce is done, remove the pot from the stove and get a hot jar from your prepared canner. Funnel some sauce into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rim, apply a clean, new lid and a ring and return the jar to the canner. Repeat this process with the remaining jars and sauce.

Process the sauce for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude if you live above 1,000 feet in elevation. When the time is up, remove the jars from the canner and place them on a wooden board or folded kitchen towel to cool. Let the jars rest undisturbed for at least 12 hours and then check the seals. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to 18 months. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

Close up of a finished jar of chili sauce

The finished sauce reminds me a lot of the red chili hot sauce that’s often sold in narrow neck bottles at Asian grocery stores (and occasionally, Trader Joe’s). It’s actually something I typically have in my fridge, and so I’m delighted to have found a viable homemade replacement. And given the speed I go through it (not actually all that quickly), I’m all set for the next couple years at least!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.

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