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Szechuan Sweet Chili Sauce, Regent Hotel Albuquerque

March 4, 2010

I have a long history with the downtown Albuquerque Double Tree Hotel. I’ve worked there three times under all three incarnations, cooking on one fine dining line or another. During the Regent Hotel regime, our competition for lunch was the fabled Petroleum Club. This was my contribution to the seafood section. I served it with beer battered scallops and pickled melon.

Szechuan Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
6 fresh red jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, finely chopped (wear gloves for this)
1/4 cup Chinese red rice vinegar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
1 teaspoons salt
Water as needed to thin sauce


Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the onion and stir-fry for another minute.

Add the chilies and the vinegar, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except the water and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process to a fine puree, adding water as needed. Sauce can be thinned quite a bit.

Refrigerate and serve with rice, grilled veggie, potstickers, egg rolls or just about anything. Yield: About 1 1/4 cups

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