One of our favorite recipes from the kids’ classes at Haven's Kitchen is a Southeast Asian-inspired vermicelli salad. It inspires young students to eat an array of fresh and pickled vegetables, but equally important, the fun of the noodles and the sweet-meets-spicy chili sauce creates a lot of excitement and laughter in the teaching kitchen. The sweetness of this sauce is a good counterpoint to the heat of the chiles. Drizzle on grain bowls or grilled fish to give them a tasty kick.
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 hot red chiles (bird’s eye, thai, habanero, or fresno), minced
Fine sea salt
2 teaspoons arrowroot
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup water with the sugar, vinegar, garlic, chiles, and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot in the remaining ¼ cup water.
When the sugar is dissolved, whisk the arrowroot mixture into the pot. Stir continuously over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before serving.