A standard hot sauce on tables in Burma, this condiment for every occasion is hot, tart with vinegar, and a little sweet. If possible, make it at least a day before you first want to serve it, because when you make it the sauce will seem watery, but it thickens and the flavors blend after a day.
I reach for this sauce whenever I am eating rice or noodles, and I drizzle it over fried eggs. It’s also a great complement to grilled meat and deep-fried snacks. Once you have a stash of it in your refrigerator, you’ll never want to bother with store-bought Sriracha or other commercial hot sauces again.
Break the chiles in half, break off the stems, and empty out; if you wish, discard some or all of the seeds. Place the chile pieces in a small pot with the water. If your garlic is somewhat dried out and harsh-tasting (in the winter months), add it too. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the chiles are softened and have swelled up a little. If your garlic is young and fresh, add it for the last minute of cooking.
Combine the chiles and garlic with their liquid, the fish sauce, and sugar in a food processor, and process or grind to a coarse paste; scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula. Add the vinegar and process again.
Transfer to a clean, dry glass jar and store in the refrigerator, preferably for at least a day before using. It will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.
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