Chilli jam. Another of my pantry staples. Incredibly versatile, it can be used anywhere you need a sweet and spicy flavour hit. A key ingredient in one of our favourite meals, Thai Chicken Stir Fry With Sweet Chilli Jam and Cashews. Not surprisingly an opened jar doesn’t last long in our house. Slathered on toasted ham and cheddar cheese sandwiches or onion bagels with cream cheese. Fabulous in burgers, sausage or bacon and egg sandwiches. Thinned with a little vinegar or mirin it does double duty as a dipping sauce. For spring rolls, gyoza and dumplings. It has a natural affinity with anything crisp, crunchy or fried. Think potato wedges with sour cream.
And so it transpired on a cold, wet afternoon not wanting to venture out I stayed home and made sweet chilli jam. From scratch. Using a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients. A quick blitz in the food processor. A slow simmer on the stove. In little over an hour my efforts were rewarded with a gleaming jar of glossy, deliciously sticky, fiery red chilli jam. Try it. It really is much easier than you might think.
Sweet Chilli Jam
6 long fresh red chillies, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 lime or lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
PROCESS the chilli, onion, garlic and water in a food processor until finely chopped.
TRANSFER to a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, vinegar, lime or lemon juice and fish sauce.
STIR over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
INCREASE heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the jam gels when tested. Simply place a teaspoon of jam on a chilled saucer and leave to cool for a few minutes. If it firms up and sets its ready.
SPOON the hot jam into clean, dry jars. Set aside to cool. Seal. Once opened store the jar in the fridge for up to 2 months.