This homemade hot honey sauce is the best honey condiment to drizzle over chicken wings or noodles, giving them a sweet and spicy flavor with a touch of hot sauce.
This sweet and spicy sauce is also great on crackers, or cakes, pizza, pasta, roasted vegetables or charcuterie board. Drizzle or toss this hot honey sauce and enjoy its sweet and spicy flavors.
What is Hot Honey Sauce?
Hot honey sauce is a versatile condiment that combines the sweetness of honey with the heat of hot peppers. This sweet and spicy combination creates a unique flavor profile. Drizzle it over fried chicken, pizza, biscuits, grilled cheese sandwiches, or even use as a dipping sauce or marinade for chicken tenders.
Why make hot honey sauce at home?
This sweet and spicy kick contrasts many dishes and balances all flavors perfectly, making it a popular and flavorful condiment.
Adjust the level of spiciness: You have complete control over the heat level. For a milder option, add chili flakes to the honey; for a spicier kick, infuse honey with chili peppers for a more extended period.
Quick and easy: This homemade hot honey sauce takes minutes to make and is easy, using just a few simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry.
Versatility: This honey and chili sauce can elevate an array of dishes, from fried chicken and roasted meats to complement the warmth of biscuits and cornbread. You can even drizzle over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Gift: Spicy hot honey sauce can make a thoughtful and personalized gift for friends and family.
Spicy Honey Sauce Ingredients
You can use raw honey or any honey you have at home. I like using local honey from our beekeeper neighbor or fermented honey with additional health benefits.
For this recipe, you can even use crystallized honey, as it will melt when you heat it and become liquid honey. Filtered honey is also a good option.
Use fresh ginger root, which is more robust and has a more intense flavor than dried ginger powder. I always go to a small grocery shop owned by Rajeev in the corner of our small town. They have the freshest produce.
White Rice vinegar
I used white rice vinegar for its clean, mild, and sweet flavor. You can also use apple cider vinegar instead, but it has a slightly fruity and more acidic flavor profile. So, it's always helpful to consider what you will use this hot honey sauce for. If it's an Asian dish like noodles or Asian chicken, opt for rice vinegar. If you plan to use it for other culinary purposes like Western-style salads or marinades, then apple cider vinegar can be a suitable alternative.
The spiciness of hot honey sauce can vary depending on the type and quantity of chili peppers used, ranging from mild to extremely hot.
Standard red pepper flakes provide a balanced, moderately spicy kick. If you crave for a bolder spiciness and more heat, opt for cayenne pepper flakes.
You can enhance the spice level by infusing honey with chili flakes or adding them directly.
Instruction to infuse chili flakes in honey:
Decide on the type of chili flakes you want to use 1-2 tablespoons of chili flakes for every cup of honey. Adjust this ratio according to your taste. Let the honey and chili flakes mixture sit for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. The longer it sits, the spicier it will become. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean container, removing the chili flakes.
Sesame seed oil
I opted for sesame seed oil to infuse a nutty aroma into this homemade hot honey recipe. But feel free to use any oil you want.
Best hot honey sauce recipe
First step: Prepare the Red Chili Peppers and ginger
Wear gloves when handling chili peppers to avoid skin irritation. Remove the stems and seeds from the chili peppers and finely chop them. Peel the ginger and chop it, too.
Second step: Sauté the Chili Peppers and Ginger
Heat a skillet or pan over medium-high heat and add the sesame seed oil. Add the chopped red chili peppers and ginger and sauté for about 2-3 minutes until they begin to release their aroma.
Third step: Add honey and rice vinegar.
Reduce to low heat and stir in the honey and rice vinegar. Remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as the honey starts to simmer. Do not boil the mixture as honey will quickly become too thick and sticky.
Just gently warm it up stiring occasionally.
Fourth step: strain the honey and store
Taste the glaze and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. If you prefer, strain the honey through a fine mesh to remove the flakes and pieces of ginger. Allow the honey to cool and store this homemade hot sauce in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also leave the crushed red pepper flakes for extra heat.
Note; For a thicker sauce, you can simmer it for a few minutes longer, but keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
Ways to use hot honey sauce
There are myriad ways to use this sauce, everything from chicken wings to pizza.
In Savory dishes
Hot honey sauce is a culinary chameleon that can transform your savory dishes. It's the perfect sauce to drizzle over fried chicken wings or air fryer chicken breasts for a sweet and spicy glaze. Brush it onto grilled ribeye or salmon for a flavorful kick, or toss roasted vegetables. You can also spread it on hot honey chicken sandwiches, burgers, or wraps for a unique condiment that elevates your lunch or dinner. My favorite use is as a hot honey wing sauce.
Sweet and Spicy Twists
Don't limit hot sweet honey sauce to savory fare; add the versatile sauce to your sweet treats too. Try drizzling it over vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, or fruit for a dessert with a spicy edge. Add a touch to your morning biscuits or cornbread for an exciting breakfast twist, or mix it into cocktails.
Dipping and Dressing:
This spicy honey recipe makes a versatile dipping sauce and dressing. Use it to dip spring rolls, egg rolls, or dumplings for an enticing flavor contrast. Toss it with salads as a vinaigrette or pasta.
How To Store Homemade Hot Honey Sauce
Allow the hot honey sauce to cool to room temperature, and transfer the cooled hot honey sauce into a clean, airtight container. Glass jars or plastic containers with tight-sealing lids work well. This hot honey lasts for several weeks. You can store it in the fridge; I don't recommend freezing it as it may impact the thickness of the hot honey sauce.
You can reheat this sauce over low heat to warm it through.
Honey hot sauce variations
- This hot honey recipe offers a wide range of flavors and heat levels.
- Add minced or fermented garlic to honey and hot sauce to make this spicy garlic twist.
- Enhance your hot honey sauce by combining it with fruit puree (e.g., mango, pineapple) and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Incorporate freshly grated lemon zest or lemon peel powder and cracked black pepper into the honey mixture and hot sauce for a zesty and spicy glaze.
- Add chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or basil and a sprinkle of garlic powder to give the honey a fresh and herby twist.