“Blow your socks off” hot Malaysian Chilli sauce

by | Mar 25, 2018 | Food and cooking, Lifestyle

“Blow your socks off” hot Malaysian Chilli sauce

by | Mar 25, 2018 | Food and cooking, Lifestyle

Hey there all my foodie friends!

I haven’t left you guys a recipe for a while have I??

Been pretty busy with the opening of the North Lakes practice as well as assessment for Uni so my apologies!  Plus, the “Paeds” part of this blog is SOOOOO much more popular than the “Feeds” part of the blog, that it seemed more important to keep that up to satisfy the thousands, rather than the much smaller number of people hanging out for my recipes – hee hee.  I guess the “Asian home cook” thing has already been done a bit huh?  AND by people much more talented and glamorous than me (think Poh Ling Yeow, Adam Liaw, Luke Nguyen!!)!

But from the response from my recent FB page post, it seems that lots of you are SPICE fans!

Something I learnt from my DAD this time (rather than my mum) about making (Malaysian) chilli sauce, is that there is nothing formulated about it.  It is what is called “agak agak.” Those who are die-hard fans of my blog will have heard this term  before, it means essentially to “guesstimate” or “a bit of this and a bit of that” and the recipe changes every time!!  So you kind of know what you want to put in your dish, but you estimate your quantities, taste and then adjust.

So this recipe is VERY “agak agak.”  There is no exact or right way to do it… it is up to your personal taste.  This is important MOST of all for the level of heat in it.  If you want it mild, then use a couple of chillies only and substitute the rest for CAPSICUM.

Troy (my husband) has gone completely nuts lately with growing heaps of different varieties of really hot chillies.  His pride and joy are his yellow, Trinidad Scorpion chillies that rate a whopping “15/10” on the heat scale (different varieties of Trinidad Scorpion that can go up to about 20/10 on the heat scale; and for reference the world’s hottest chilli is the Carolina Reaper (which looks a lot like the Trinidad scorpion with its “stinger” which registers at 22/10 on the heat scale).  Then he has a few different varieties of habanero chillies – purple and red that rate anywhere between 9-10/10 and then there are these other really pretty ones that I like to call the “Chinese Lantern Chillies,” because that’s what they remind me of, but their real name is the Cap Mushroom chilli – these rate 8/10.  The best chilli tree we have in the garden though is a variety of birds-eye chilli that my mum found somewhere… probably in a Chinese grocer.  She loved the flavour and the heat and lamented that not all chillies were as nice.  So Troy took to propagating them from seeds so mum could have an ongoing supply.  Ours produces a bumper crop every year and we call these the “Ah Mah chilli” (Ah Mah is the Chinese term for “grandmother” and is what my kids used to call my mum).  The heat of these is probably about a 7/10.

I love to make chilli sauce for my dad – but I can never seem to make it hot enough.  Even when I think the heat level is blistering, dad just shrugs his shoulders and says “It’s not that hot” or sometimes, “It’s about as hot as tomato sauce.”  (and then he laughs at my frown!) We have grown habanero chillies before, but even though they are HOT, dad doesn’t really enjoy the flavour of the chilli itself.

*** So THIS time, I used a combination of the Trinidad Scorpion (just the one as I didn’t want the sauce to be inedible), 2x Chinese Lanterns, , 3x purple Habaneros and about 30 of the Ah Mah chillies.

Dad is coming over for dinner (laksa!!!  Woo hoo) tonight so will keep you posted on his verdict after he tries it!

SO………  enough of me waffling on!!!


Meggsie’s “AH-MAH-zing” Malaysian chilli sauce 


  • Chillies – for a moderately hot chilli sauce I would use about 20-30 birds-eye chillies; it’s up to you (this time I used some hotter varieties in addition as outline above)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass (or 2 good squeezes of lemongrass paste from a fresh tube)
  • 8 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 6cm fresh (preferably young) ginger – Microplaned
  • 8-10 French (golden) shallots OR 2 large brown onions
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 5 g toasted belachan (dried shrimp paste – totes stinky but essential to the flavour of the sauce; I get mine in the Asian food section of Woolies or Coles)
  • 2-3 tab of palm sugar finely chopped (if you don’t have this you can use brown/caster sugar – but it will affect the taste of the sauce)
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tbs of white vinegar
  • Splash of fish sauce
  • 2 tbs of tamarind paste
  • 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of vegetable oil


  1. Use a food processor  to blitz up the chillies (if you want it hotter, leave the seeds in, otherwise remove the seeds), lemongrass, garlic, ginger, belachan, sugar, shallots/onion, tumeric, vinegar and lemon juice
  2. Heat oil in the saucepan, fry the above paste until fragrant (have your stove extractor fan on HIGH!)
  3. Add the tamarind paste and fish sauce
  4. Cook on low for 15-20 min until the solids separate
  5. Store in a sterile jar (and these can be frozen!)
  6. I like to put in an olive oil “cap” at the end to seal the top


Hoping for a cracking hot chilli for both Troy and dad tonight to have with Laksa (I am too scared to even try it – I nearly choked on the vapour whilst I was cooking it!!).  I have made a “nicely hot” chilli sauce for me separately, so will give that a good go tonight too.

Let me know if you try this and PLEEEEEEEEEEEEAASEEE,


SHARE on FB and leave me a comment/like/photo

– it motivates me to do food posts if I see people are enjoying the recipes (there’s really no point to bloggin if it looks like no one is watching and trying!)


Until next time,

Don’t try this without a glass of water!!




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About Dr Megs

About Dr Megs

Megan is a Brisbane and Ipswich-based paediatrician in public and private practice, and mum to two small children. You can usually find her working hard in private practice at Paeds in a Pod North Lakes and Greenslopes, and in public practice at Ipswich Hospital.

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is written for the purpose of providing GENERAL advice about common children's health topics (and of course recipes). It is NOT a substitute for a proper medical assessment and examination by a qualified physician. If your child is unwell, seek medical and attention and advice in person.