1/2 cup finely minced fresh garlic (Peel and mince your own garlic, please. Pre-minced garlic in jars just isnt good enough for this recipe.)
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
6 cups cider vinegar
6 cups granulated white sugar
3/4 cup (less if your heat tolerance is lower) crushed red pepper flakes
Adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Yield: About 9 half- pints as written
(this stuff is AMAZING!)
Prepare the jars and rings by washing on the hot cycle of your dishwasher. Wash the lids in hot soapy water and rinse well. Place in a bowl covered by two or three inches of very hot tap water. Set aside.
Sprinkle salt over the minced garlic in a metal or glass bowl (dont use plastic here unless you want a perma-garlic bowl!) Stir together, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it mellow at room temperature for an hour. The salt will help pull some of the moisture from the garlic, so dont skip this step!
In a saucepan, bring the vinegar to a rolling boil. Add the sugar all at once and stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Return to a full boil.
Lower heat just slightly so that it boils steadily but not really hard. Boil steadily, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the hot burner, stir in the garlic mixture and the crushed red pepper flakes.
Take care not to hold your face directly over the pan when adding in the pepper flakes as that can trigger some serious coughing and eye-watering, depending on the strength of the pepper flakes.
Ladle the hot sauce into the hot jars. You want to leave 1/2″ of space between the top lip of the jar and the top level of the dipping sauce. Use a paper towel (or clean tea towel) dipped in pure cider vinegar to wipe the rims of the jars even if it doesnt look like anything is on it.
Cover the jars completely by at least one inch with hot tap water. Place a lid on your canner (or stockpot) and turn the heat on your burner to high. When the water reaches a full, rolling boil (one that could not be stirred down), set your timer for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes have elapsed, remove the lid to your canner and shut off the heat. Leave the jars in the hot water for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, transfer the jars (using a waterproof oven mitt or canning tongs) to a towel lined counter or a cooling rack with a towel under it. You should start to hear the POP of the lids as they form vacuums and seal. This is a very good thing! Leave your jars to rest, undisturbed, overnight. In the morning, test the jars by pressing gently on the center of each lid. If it does not give under gentle pressure or pop back up, your seal is good.
Remove the rings for storage*, wipe gently with a damp cloth or paper towel, label and store in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks prior to using. Unopened, sealed jars of this sauce can be stored for a year.
Before opening a jar of Thai Sweet and Hot Garlic Dipping Sauce, be sure to give it a good shake. There will be a natural settling of the product in storage and shaking is a simple way to distribute all that gorgeous garlic and pepper flake-age.