How to make the perfect Chilli Sauce for Singapore Chicken Rice, a spicy, tangy, ginger-garlic Chilli Sauce.
Chicken rice is such a classic Singaporean dish! What sets the Singapore version apart is the spicy and tangy chilli sauce! I cannot eat chicken rice without the special chilli sauce.
The key ingredients for the Chicken Rice chilli sauce would be the chillies, ginger, garlic, lime juice and chicken stock. Omitting even one of these ingredients will make this taste unfamiliar. It is quite a long list of ingredients, but they are mostly kitchen staples. The actual making of the sauce is extremely simple – just toss everything in a blender!
Key Ingredients for The Perfect Chilli Sauce for Chicken Rice
Chillies are a must, obviously. I used two main chillies used: red Spur chillies and Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies. The spur chillies add more colour and a hint of spice, while the Bird’s Eye Chillies add the main spicy bite to the sauce. You can just use the red chillies and omit the bird’s eye chillies.
In fact, most stalls in Singapore will not use Bird’s Eye Chilies, resulting in a less spicy sauce. It makes it a lot more palatable for more people. However if you like spicy food, I highly recommend the bird’s eye chillies.
I do a 1:1 ratio of red chillies to bird’s eye chillies. This results in a very spicy sauce, but that’s the way I like it. Adjust the bird’s eye chillies to your spice tolerance. For a more tame sauce, do 1 part bird’s eye chillies to 2 parts red chillies.
Lime Juice and Vinegar
These two ingredients adds the sour tang in the sauce. And yes, you do need both for a delicious sauce. Lime juice adds a sweet-sourness, while vinegar is straight up a sharp tang.
If you really want to just opt for one of these, then it would be lime juice. I’ve tried making this sauce with just vinegar, and it hit differently. I attempted it again with just the lime juice and it tasted better than with the vinegar.
I used calamansi limes, but regular limes will work too. Lemons will work as well.
Garlic and Ginger
Another ingredient combo that cannot be omitted!
Traditionally, the chicken for chicken rice is boiled. The resulting stock is used as soup, served on the side, and to make the chilli sauce.
I don’t always have homemade chicken stock in the fridge, but I always have chicken stock cubes! This recipe uses bouillon cubes for convenience. One stock cube is meant for 1 litre of water. Since we are using just one cup of stock, use just 1/4 of a cube.
You can replace with homemade chicken stock if that is what you have. Do note that bouillon cubes have salt already, so the recipe uses minimal salt. Add accordingly if using unsalted stock.
If truly pressed, then use water. Of course, it will not be as tasty.
What to Serve with?
This is a must-have when I’m having Chicken Rice, of course! As a Singapore favourite, I have so many easy iterations of it right here:
- Hainanese Chicken Rice
- Hainanese Roasted Chicken Rice
- One Pan Hainanese Chicken Rice
- Easy Hainanese Chicken Rice (rice cooker recipe)
Besides chicken rice, this is also a fantastic spicy dipping sauce for Singapore BBQ Chicken Wings!
Other recipes that would go fantastic with this chilli sauce:
How Long Can it Keep?
In my experience, this sauce keeps for two weeks in the fridge… Only because it never lasts longer than that in my house! The salt and acids does act as preservatives. If you want the sauce to last longer than two weeks, I suggest freezing it.
More Recipes Like This
If you like this Singapore spicy sauce, you might enjoy these too:
- Singapore Sambal Sauce (Hawker Stall style)
- Sambal Tumis
- Pickled Green Chillies
- Sambal Kicap
- The Best Sambal Nasi Lemak
Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce RecipeCourse: Recipes
10 Red Chillies
10 Bird’s Eye Chillies
1 tsp Salt, or to taste
1 tbsp Sugar
4 tbsps or 50 ml of Lime Juice
1 tsp Vinegar
1 cup Chicken Stock
- Chop the chillies, ginger and garlic to smaller pieces for easier blending.
- Toss all of the ingredients in the blender and blitz!
- Sauce is done.