Here is a classic chile sauce from one of the hottest regions--foodwise--in China. It can be used in stir-fry dishes, added to soups, or sprinkled over rice.
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
* 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
* 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
* 6 fresh red chiles, such as jalapeños, deseeded and finely chopped
* 1/4 cup Chinese red rice vinegar
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
* 2 tablespoons Chinese yellow rice wine
* 2 teaspoons salt
* Water as needed
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the onion and stir-fry for another minute.
Add the chiles and the vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes, adding water if it gets too dry.
Add the remaining ingredients except the water and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process to a fine puree, adding water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
Place the sauce in bottles and refrigerate.
Yield: About 1 1/4 cups