Donna Hay’s Asian Chilli Jam


Donna Hay's Asian Chilli Jam

I must say, when it comes to Basic’s (and brilliance), Donna Hay is often my go to and this Chilli Jam was no exception.  So versatile, it can really give a basic meal a huge lift.  I was a little concerned that it would be too spicy but I stuck to the recipe (for once) and was pleasantly surprised.  It had some heat but certainly not enough to blow your head off.  Like Donna, I too will have a jar of this at my disposable, perfect for jazzing up chicken, seafood, lamb, beef or pork, barbecued, stir fried or baked.  Paired with an Asian inspired salad or rice and Asian greens, you have yourself the basis of a fabulous meal.


Prep time:  10  Minutes              Cooking time:  10-12 Minutes               $  Low Budget


Makes approximately 3/4 of a cup


5 long red chillies, roughly chopped  (you can remove the seeds if you like)

1 french eschalot or 1/2 a small red onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 tbs of ginger, roughly chopped

2 tbs of peanut oil (rice bran or canola if you have an allergy to peanuts)

2 tsp of sesame oil

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

2 tbs of fish sauce

2/3 cup of brown sugar


Place the chilli, garlic, ginger and eschalot in a small food processor and process until finely chopped (like a paste).


Heat the peanut oil and sesame oil in a large non stick fry pan to a medium heat and add the chilli mixture.  Cook and stir for approximately 6-8 minutes or until just starting to caramelise.


Add the vinegar, fish sauce and brown sugar, stir to combine and allow to bubble away for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened.  The chilli jam will thicken on cooling.


Allow to cool before transferring to a jar or an airtight container.  The chilli jam will last up to 3 weeks in the fridge.


Thanks Donna Hay!

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    • Emma says

      Really sorry for the late reply Elizabeth, I am currently without internet and have been for 7 weeks. I am not sure how the green chillies would go as they do tend to have a certain amount of bitterness. Red chillies are sweeter and that is why they are predominantly used for this kind of thing. You could certainly give it a go, I’m just not sure the result will be as good.

    • Kellie says

      Yes you can, but adding more brown sugar to taste may be an option. Or oven roast the green chillies for a while to release acidic bitterness.

  1. Erene says

    Hello, made this jam to the letter and it was great. Next time,mthought I would add some lime juice for a bit of extra zing, as it goes well with chilli. Well, it solidified!!! Turned into a solid mass. As these are all ingredients used in Asian cooking, am a bit perplexed. Your thoughts?

    • Emma says

      Hi Erene, I too am perplexed as that has never happened when I have made the jam. It certainly thickens but not to a solid mass and keeps in the fridge for quite a while. Perhaps reduce the amount of actual cooking time and see if that helps. Cheers Em

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