There’s nothing more fulfilling than cooking from scratch and it gives me the sense of achievement that makes the whole cooking experience more enjoyable. I’ve always wanted to home-make my most-frequently-used sauces – ketchup and barbecue sauce, for some time now. Although having said that, laziness has been the reason I’ve been procrastinating and resorting to the readily available store-bought alternatives.

Ok, I’ not insinuating that there’s anything wrong in doing so, but once in a blue moon, it’s nice to relive the tradition of sauce-making at home.

{My first homemade barbecue sauce}

After reading blog posts on summer grilling escapades by fellow bloggers, I began to miss the joy of barbecuing and the smokiness of char-grilled meat and vegetables.

I know, I know, it’s winter now and despite the temptation, I prefer to stay warm indoor rather than barbecuing in the cold. Hence, oven grilling makes perfect sense this time of year.

Since oven grilling requires little effort, I feel the need to try my hand at making barbecue sauce (uhm, well not completely from scratch as I’ve used store-bought ketchup for a start). And I must say after the success of my first batch of the sauce, I’m pretty sure ketchup will be my next sauce-making project.

Homemade Tangy Barbecue Sauce

(adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly – Back to Basics)

Emily’s note: I’ve made the sauce using whatever is available in my pantry. You may notice I’ve used dijon mustard instead of american-style mustard; As the cider vinegar that I’ve used contains honey, I’ve reduced the portion of brown sugar to about 100g; I have also switched from fresh chilli to 1 teaspoon of sambal oelek (Indonesian crushed chilles)  since I have always have the latter in the fridge instead of the former.

Makes 2 Cups


1 cup (250ml) tomato ketchup

1/2 cup (125ml) cider vinegar

1/4 (60ml) worcestershire sauce

2/3 cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tbsps american-style mustard

1 fresh small red thai chilli, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, crushed/grated

1 tbsp lemon juice


1. Combine ingredients in medium saucepan; bring to the boil then reduce heat.

2. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

Grilled Chicken Nibbles

Serves 2 people as appetizers


500g chicken nibbles

1/2 cup homemade barbecue sauce for marinate; 1/2 cup to coat the cooked chicken nibbles

A pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine all the ingredients above and let it marinate for 30 minutes or longer.

2. Before cooking, remember to preheat griller/oven at 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees fahrenheit).

3. Lightly scrape the marinate from the chicken to prevent from excess burning. Then arrange the chicken in a single layer on a baking tray and cook under the griller/oven for about 15- 20 minutes, turning once.

4.  Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl, pour 1/2 cup of the sauce, using a plate wide enough to cover the bowl and toss until the sauce is well combined with the chicken.

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