Thai food is one of my all-time favorite cuisines, and this spicy sauce is one of my favorite recipes. Authentic homemade Thai green chili sauce recipe made with fresh chilies, herbs, and classic Thai flavors! Ready in under 10 minutes!
Thai green chili sauce, known as Nam Jim Talay, is a staple condiment in Thai cuisine.
With its vibrant green color and balanced sweet, sour, and spicy flavor profile, this sauce adds a delicious kick to any savory dish. This easy homemade recipe will help you make an authentic Thai green chili sauce right in your own kitchen in 2-3 minutes.
This easy recipe lets you quickly whip up a fresh, flavorful Thai green chili sauce at home. Adjust the spiciness to your taste and use it to add an authentically Thai kick of heat and tang to all kinds of dishes. Enjoy this versatile sauce as a condiment, marinade, cooking ingredient, and more.
🔪 Why This Thai Green Chili Sauce Recipe Works
Making this sauce at home is simple, with just a few key steps:
- Chopped garlic, coriander roots, and mint give the sauce aromatic undertones.
- A balanced blend of fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar creates the characteristic sweet, sour, and salty Thai flavor profile.
- Quickly pulsing the ingredients in a food processor yields a coarse texture with small pieces that add bite.
- Letting the sauce sit for at least 30 minutes allows the flavors to develop fully.
With these easy tips, you'll have a flavorful and authentic homemade Thai green chili sauce ready in no time!
🌶️ Ingredients for Thai Green Chili Sauce
To make this simple, flavorful green chili sauce, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Fresh Green Thai Chilies: The green Thai chilis are essential for the sauce's signature color and spicy heat. Use 10-15 chilies, depending on how spicy you want the sauce. The chilies add a fresh, grassy heat. They are available from the grocery store.
- Garlic: Chopped garlic cloves add a pungent, aromatic flavor that balances the other ingredients. Use about five cloves, depending on size. More garlic equals more punch.
- Fresh Mint: A cup of fresh mint leaves contributes a cooling, refreshing menthol note that brightens the other flavors.
- Fresh Cilantro (including the stems): Like the mint, fresh cilantro also lightens the sauce. A cup of cilantro leaves adds herbal flavor. The coriander stems have an intense, citrusy taste. When chopped, they infuse the sauce with aromatic undertones.
- Lime Juice: The lime juice is key for the sour flavor that balances the sweetness and heat. Use freshly squeezed juice from about two limes.
- Fish Sauce: A few tablespoons of fish sauce adds a savory umami depth and saltiness. It's an essential ingredient for authentic Thai flavor.
- White Sugar: A bit of sugar balances out the sour lime and salty fish sauce. Use 2-3 tablespoons of white sugar or substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Don't have Thai chilies? Substitute additional jalapeno or serrano peppers.
- No fresh chilies on hand? Use 3-4 tablespoons of red chili flakes instead.
- No fish sauce? Soy sauce is the best substitute or use more lime juice.
- Lime juice can be substituted with lemon juice.
- Rather than sugar, you can use honey for sweetness.
📖 Step-by-Step Instructions
Mash Fresh Ingredients: In a food processor, combine the Thai green chilies, jalapeno peppers, chopped cloves of garlic, mint leaves, and cilantro leaves and stems. Pulse 5-10 times until the ingredients are finely chopped but still have texture. If using a mortar and pestle, add the same ingredients and mash or grind until thoroughly combined.
Add Flavor: Add the remaining ingredients, the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar.
Coarse Consistency: Continue pulsing or mashing just until combined. You want the sauce to have a coarse texture.
Develop the Flavor: Transfer the sauce to an airtight container. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow flavors to develop.
Store and Enjoy: Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- For a milder version, remove chili seeds before chopping.
- Use serrano peppers instead of jalapenos for more heat.
- Add chopped lemongrass stalk for additional citrus flavor.
- For a creamier texture, add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk.
- Substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar for a deeper sweetness.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
The spice level can vary depending on the number and type of chilies used. For medium heat, stick to the recipe as written using 10-15 Thai chilies. Use fewer chilies and remove the seeds if you want a milder heat. For extra spicy, add more chilies or use hotter varieties like serranos.
Yes, you can finely chop all the ingredients by hand or use a mortar and pestle. The texture will be slightly more coarse.
For short-term storage, refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container for up to 1 week. For the longer term, freeze the sauce in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months.
The bright green color will fade after a few days, but the flavor remains. Storing in the fridge helps retain the color longer. Blending in some spinach can also help keep the green color.
Dried chilies can work but will alter the flavor profile. Use a combination of 3-4 tablespoons of red chili flakes and green chili flakes for the closest match.
👩🏼🍳 Top Tips for Thai Green Chili Sauce
- Wear gloves when handling chilies to avoid burning your skin.
- Use a combination of chilies for the best flavor complexity.
- Remember to seed and reduce chili quantity if you want a milder sauce.
- Chop all ingredients finely but leave some texture instead of making a smooth puree.
- Let the sauce sit for 30 mins to 1 hour for full flavor development after mixing.
- Store leftover sauce in airtight containers, either refrigerating for a week or freezing for months.
- Add the sauce at the end of cooking as an ingredient to retain the freshness.
- Shake or stir the sauce each time before using it to redistribute ingredients evenly.
- Mix in fresh herbs like mint or cilantro right before serving to liven up the sauce.
🍽️ How to Serve Thai Green Chili Sauce
This versatile sauce has many great uses beyond dipping:
- As a marinade or dressing for grilled meats, fish, and shrimp
- Drizzle over cooked vegetables like my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes or Sweet Potato Wedges
- Stirred into noodles, fried rice, and other Thai dishes
- As a flavor boost for soups, curries, and stews
- Drizzled over eggs, omelets, and breakfast dishes
- As a spicy spread or sauce for sandwiches and burgers
- Dolloped onto pizza, flatbreads, and baked savory pastries
- Mixed into mayo or aioli to make a spicy dipping sauce for Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Added to tuna or chicken salad for a flavorful kick
So get creative and add this Thai green chili sauce to all your favorite foods! It takes any dish from boring to bold and delicious.
Place leftover Thai green chili sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. The bright green color may fade over time, but the flavor will remain. For longer storage, freeze sauce for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
📒 Recipe Card
Thai Green Chili Sauce Recipe
- Mortar and Pestle or Food Processor
- 10-15 green chilies stemmed and roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1.5 tablespoon white sugar
Using a Food Processor:
- In a food processor, combine the chopped chilies, garlic, cilantro and mint. Pulse several times until a coarse paste forms.
- Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Process briefly until combined. The texture should still be coarse.
- Transfer to a bowl or jar. Let sit for 30 mins for flavors to develop.
Using a Mortar and Pestle:
- In a mortar, mash the chilies, garlic, cilantro and mint into a coarse paste using the pestle.
- Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Grind well with the pestle until combined and sugar dissolves.
- Transfer to a bowl or jar. Let sit for 30 mins for flavors to develop.
- For either method, taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Store leftover sauce refrigerated for up to 1 week. Enjoy with grilled meats, seafood, noodles, rice dishes, and more!
- Wear gloves when handling chilies to avoid burning your hands. The chili heat can linger on your skin.
- For milder heat, remove the chili seeds before chopping. The seeds add more kick.
- Use a mortar and pestle or small food processor to get the right coarse texture. Avoid a smooth puree.
- Let the finished sauce sit for 30 mins for the best flavor development.
- Store leftover sauce in airtight containers and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.
- Add the sauce at the end of cooking when using in dishes to retain the fresh flavor.
- Shake or stir sauce before using each time to disperse ingredients evenly.
- For spicier sauce, opt for hotter chilies like serranos or bird's eye chilies.
- Balance the heat with more sugar and lime juice to taste.