Kitchen & Pantry

Aromatic no-cook sweet and sour chili sauce

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Whenever I can, I stock up on sweet and sour sauce and sweet chili sauce in the fridge. Homemade, of course, with no starch as thickener. They’re great for dipping fried meat, chicken and seafood — even tofu. Just fry some cutlets, serve with sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce on the side and it’s a great meal.

But stocks never last forever. In an ideal world, the stocks would be replenished before they are gone. But we don’t live in an ideal world. When the stock is gone and there’s a demand, I improvise. That was what happened a few days ago when Speedy bought a whole bitilya (seabream) and wanted sweet and sour fish for lunch. It was late, we were both hungry so, to cut the cooking time, instead of making sweet and sour sauce from scratch, I used the kaffir lime leaf-infused simple syrup in the fridge — the excess from the margarita mix I prepared some two weeks ago.

For a more detailed description of how to made the infused simple syrup, see the strawberry lemonade post. The instructions and relevant links are all there.

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I poured the kaffir lime leaf-infused simple syrup into a bowl, added some salt, kalamansi juice and Sriracha. I stirred until the mixture was smooth, I tasted it, then made adjustments until I got the perfect balance for my sweet and sour chili sauce.

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I fried the fish and some onion slices, then I put everything together. The fish went onto a platter then I doused it with the sauce. The fried shallots went on top along with toasted garlic bits and, for the perfect finish, snipped cilantro. It was delicious.

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