1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. sherry or red wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 tbsp. dried crushed chili
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved
in 3 to 4 tbsp. cool water
- Place all ingredients - except the cornstarch-water mixture - in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.
- Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture.
- Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. If it doesn't thicken, try a little more cornstarch, again mixed with a dab of water.
- Remove from heat and taste-test. You should taste sweet first, followed by sour, then spicy and salty notes. If the sauce isn't sweet enough, add a little more sugar. If not spicy enough, add more chili.
- Pour sauce into a small bowl or jar and serve as a condiment, dip or marinade.