Spicy sauces with Chillies

Spicy sauces .

Hot and spicy

These spicy sauces made with Chillies are great for serving with hot or cold meals. Serve the spicy tomato sauce hot with polenta or cold with buttered bread. The green Habanero sauce is phenomenal with eggs and cold chicken  and  Aji Verde  ( Green Chilli sauce)  just has to tried with Pollo ala brasa.  The peanut satay sauce from Indonesia is great with poultry or pork. To make it more carb friendly, substitute the peanuts with cashew nuts or almonds.

Recipes for spicy sauces

Sambals, Nam Prik and others

Some spicy sauces are so tasty or unusual that you just have to try them. Trying them all, however, would be impossible. There are literally thousands of these sauces, with many regions having hundreds of  different varieties. Sambals, for example, the Chilli sauces from the Indonesian archipelago come in between two and three hundred forms. Nam Prik from Thailand is another example with over a hundred recipes.

The recipes for these sauces vary from region to region in the way they are made and the ingredients used.  Typical ingredients may include lemon grass, tamarind, shrimp paste, mango and galangal. Chillies are the only common denominator.

Another country that notably has many spicy sauces is  Mexico. It is especially known for its Moles. Each region in the country  has is specialities, but the holder of the crown is Oaxaca, in southwest Mexico. This region lays claim to what are referred to as the seven Moles, each with different colours, textures, ingredients and preparation methods.



Where to start?

Spicy sauces. Sambals, Nam Prik and others

Some of the best

With so much choice, where do you start?  To help decide, why not try the following?  Some are really hot, and others relatively mild. All have one thing in common, though – they are all that good that once you tasted them, you will wonder how you previously survived without them


A very popular spicy sauce in Isreal and other parts of the Middle East. Zhoug is made with Coriander ( Cilantro), Chillies, garlic, spices and olive oil. It can be made with green or red Chillies. When it is made with red chillies, it is called Skhug yarok. When red Chillies are used, it becomes Skhug adom.

Zhoug is eaten with beans, flatbread, roasted vegetables, Felafel, eggs and on top of yoghurt or cheese

XO sauce

From Hong Kong, this spicy sauce is made with dried seafood, including scallops, fish and shrimps, combined with aged ham, garlic, ginger, Chilies, sugar and Soya sauce. It gets its name from XO cognac because the ingredients are so expensive. XO sauce is similar to the dried seafood- Fujianese Shacha sauce. The ingredients for Shacha sauce are soy oil, garlic, shallots ,Chillies, Bril fish and dried shrimp. The taste is  savoury with a slightly bitter note


A  traditional sauce from Sichuan in China. Mala sauce gets its name from the combination of two Chinese characters, meaning numb and pungency.   Mala is made from Chilies, Sichuan peppers, Douban paste (broad bean paste) and a variety of spices that are simmered in beef tallow and oil.

The pungency referred to in the name is from the Chillies and the numbness from the Sichuan peppers. Sichuan pepper is not related to the black pepper more commonly used in Western cuisine ( Piper Nigrum). In China, it is harvested from the prickly ash shrub.It initially has a citrus taste when eaten, followed by the sensation of numbness in the mouth

This spicy sauce has many uses, including in stir-fries, Chinese barbecue meat, stews, soups and rice. One particularly notable recipe using this sauce is called Mala Chicken.  This is a dish where more Chillies are used to make it than chicken. It is very hot, but extremely tasty and almost addictive


A spicy sauce from Provence in France made with breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, Chilli powder and saffron. Rouille  is used with the notable fish stew of the region Boullibase, in fish soups and as a garnish with other fish dishes

Mole Amarillo.

One of the seven Moles from Oaxaca, Mexico, this spicy sauce is made with Amarillo Chillies, various herbs and spices, saffron, tomatillos, tomatoes, oil, Hoja Santa leaves and stock. It is thickened with Masa. Mole Amarillo is used with poultry, duck, vegetables and meat, tamales, Mexican squash and seafood like mussels

The other Moles from this region are Mole Negro ( black Mole), Mole Verde (green Mole), Mole de almendrado ( Mole with almonds),Mole Coloradito ( little red Mole), Mole Manchamanteles (table cloth stainer) ,Colorado Mole (red ,Mole and Mole Chichilo (similar to Colorado and Coloridito, but uses darkened Chillies)


A plum-based spicy sauce commonly used in Georgia and Russia, as Ketchup, is in the USA. It is made from tart plums, combined with Chilli powder, garlic and spices. Tkemalis is typically used with grilled or fried meat, potatoes and with poultry

Sambal Terasi

This spicy sauce from Indonesia is made with Chillies. Tomatoes. Shrimp paste, shallots, garlic. Palm sugar and lime juice. Sambal Terasi is served with meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. This sambal is also called Belechan

Sambal kecap petis

A sambal made with shrimp paste, soy sauce, Chillies, fresh calamansi (a Filipino citrus fruit with a unique taste), shallots and water. This sambal is used in a recipe called Ikan Makarel Panggang, in which it is served with grilled Mackerel. It is also served with various snacks, including vegetable and clam  fritters, fried Tempah and Tofu. Other uses include being used in soups, and in other seafood dishes


Bazhe from Georgia is prepared with Walnuts, garlic, fenugreek, dried chillies, coriander and marigold. Bazhe  is served with chicken, meat and vegetables. It may also be used as a spread on bread


This great tasting spicy sauce from Catalonia in Spain is made with almonds, hazelnuts, bread crumbs, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and dried Nyora Chillies. Xató  is served with endive salad, omelettes and a variety of other dishes

In conclusion

And the list goes on.  Never mind that this selection doesn’t even mention other fantastic spicy sauces like Chermoula, Pebra, Nước chấm and Bajan pepper sauce and many others from around the globe!

It just goes to show how well the Chilli has done in its trip around the world!