My not so hot Vietnamese garlic chili sauce

I have for the longest time, on and off admittedly, been looking for the famous Rooster garlic chili sauce here in the UK. I have searched high and low and recently I came to the sad conclusion that short of getting someone to ship it over from the US for me I would forever be without it. Not impressed! Particularly as lots of places do sell the Huy Fong Sriracha sauce but obviously the garlic chili, or to give it its real Vietnamese name,Tuong Ot Toi, is an unknown entity. Why, oh, Why? It is clearly the better sauce out of the two and besides you can buy Sriracha sauce practically everywhere – even in Tesco’s!

During one of my desperate trawlings on the internet looking for this elusive sauce I came across a recipe for a homemade Tuong Ot Toi and decided to give it a go. I was also, as already mentioned, bloody desperate to eat some and frankly, as i am loath to do, smear it on anything – it’s that good!

I should probably preface this by saying a) i like it hot b) i like garlic – a lot and c) i love the juxtaposition of flavours you so often get in South East Asian cooking. The sweet, the sour, the hot and the salty. All are present in this little sauce and i would definitely urge anyone to get their hand on a jar if they can, or make their own.

Now, you might wonder why the title says “My not so hot Vietnamese garlic chili sauce”? Well, that is simply because after having made it last night, I tasted it today and it’s not as hot as it was yesterday, when it was positively lethal – but in nice way ! That is not to say I have not had it on some Polish rye bread with some Polish garlic sausage, or indeed dipped a couple of kabanos sausages in it either. But I do wish it was hotter, much hotter! I suspect I didn’t add enough vinegar..anyway, here’s the recipe:

Vietnamese Garlic Chili sauce – Toung Ot Toi (from

1/2 kg (1 pound) of fresh red chilies (any kind will do its up to you)

6-8 cloves of garlic

4Tbs distilled vinegar

1Tsp Salt

1Tbsp Sugar

Whizz it all up in a food processor/blender and adjust seasonings to taste

Place in a jar and keep i the fridge

I used the long red chilies (which i think are sometimes referred to as Dutch chilies, as these were the only red chilies in my Chinese supermarket yesterday). I will definitely tweak this recipe and make it again. Once I’ve eaten the first batch that is! Might add some Scotch Bonnets next time to ensure the heat stays and perhaps up the vinegar..

Home-made Vietnamese Garlic Chili Sauce

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    4 Comments (+add yours?)

    1. Dani
      Feb 27, 2011 @ 20:40:29

      Sounds delicious! Agree the sriracha is pretty much the go-to chili sauce here – every restaurant and corner store seems to have it. Seems easy to just import some of the chili garlic sauce along with their giant shipload of sriracha! Maybe if you get a petition going/1000 signatures/etc??


      • mangopango
        Feb 27, 2011 @ 21:18:48

        Im working on it as we speak! I’ll check with my sources.. Seriously though, i agree with you. Funny that the Rooster brand Sriracha sauce is everywhere but not it’s equally, if not more, delicious brother. I shall have a nosy about.


    2. humpty
      Feb 27, 2011 @ 21:53:35

      Mmmmmmmm! This sounds so easy – will definitely give it a shot!


    3. mangopango
      Feb 27, 2011 @ 22:32:20

      If you like a bit of chili and garlic this will definitely be up your alley. I think the garlic, sugar, salt and vinegar that just kicks this up into a chili sauce category of its own! 🙂

      There’s also one with lemongrass..just saying!


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