This thick, red purée of fresh hot chilies makes an outstanding pantry staple. It provides much of what you get by grinding fresh hot chilies in a mortar, and keeps well in the refrigerator. Many grocery stores carry it in plastic jars with a parrot-green Iid. The words “tuong ot toi” often appear on the label, identifying the product, not a brand name. Though they differ slightly, most other thick hot red chili purées can substitute for chili-garlic sauce. Chinese chili paste is not ideal, as it is made with oil and dried red chilies. It will do if you use the chili purée and avoid the oil.
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