Tương Muối Ớt Lá Chanh (Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce Recipe)


In Vietnamese, “tương muối ớt lá chanh” would literally translate to “sauce salt chile lime leaves”. It’s a spicy sauce I came up with by using the kaffir lime leaves from our garden. They’re so fragrant and very useful in Asian cuisine. I usually use them for making broth, but this time, I blended them with fresh green chiles, coarse sea salt, garlic, limes and a little sugar to balance the flavor of the sauce. I used it as a spicy dipping sauce for crab that I simply steamed.

It’s crab season so I stocked up on a lot of crabs that I cracked and stored in sealable bags for making crab cakes and soups in the future.

If you have the space to plant a kaffir lime tree and you’re into Asian cooking, go for it; it’s a good investment. Plus the plant doesn’t take too much space and it’s almost maintenance-free.

1. Info for Tương Muối Ớt Lá Chanh (Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce Recipe)

  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 5
  • Calories: 170kcal

2. Ingredients for Tương Muối Ớt Lá Chanh (Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce Recipe)

  • 8 ounces fresh Serrano green chiles
  • 6 ounces fresh garlic
  • 2¼ cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt

3. Directions:

  1. Note: Don’t forget to wear disposable gloves. And make sure not to rub your eyes after touching the chile peppers.
  2. Choose fully ripened, extremely red chiles. Wash and pat them dry with paper towels. Trim the stems. Depending on the spiciness, you can remove the seeds or not. Roughly chop them.
  3. Coarsely chop the garlic.
  4. I made the sauce in 2 batches so the chiles and garlic fit into the blender.
  5. Pound the chiles, kaffir lime leaf and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Note: You could also use a blender. The mixture should turn into a coarse purée. Add the lime juice for a smoother flow. Add sugar and salt.
  6. Fill a large pot of water and bring to just under a boil. Place 5½-pint Mason jars, lids, heat-proof funnel and tongs in the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Be sure to read the instructions that come with the Mason jars for exact time and techniques.
  7. Remove the jars from the water and fill with the chile garlic sauce, leaving about ¼-inch of head space or whatever your canning directions say. Carefully place the lids on the jars using a magnet. Tighten the collar around each jar. Bring your large pot of water back to a boil and place all the sealed jars in it for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the jars from the water. If the top of the lid still pops, the vacuum didn’t form and you’ll need to consume the jam in the next couple of weeks, storing it in the refrigerator.
  9. Allow to sit at least for a few hours before opening the jars to let the flavors infuse.
  10. Serve as a dipping sauce for freshly steamed crab with additional corasely ground black pepper.
  11. Voilà

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