For the dipping sauce: Add the sugar and 1/2 cup water to a medium pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the sambal, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, chile de arbol, garlic, Fresno chiles and ginger. Process until well chopped up. Once the sugar mixture has turned a caramel color, remove from the heat and carefully dump in the chopped aromatics; take care as the hot caramel will bubble up and steam. Stir the caramel well to mix in the aromatics, then return to the heat. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water to create a slurry; stir into the sauce. Simmer until thickened to the consistency of ketchup. Cool before serving. (Makes 2 cups.)
For the plantain chips: Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a large Dutch oven. While the oil is heating up, trim the ends of the plantains and then slice lengthwise into thin (about 1/16-inch thick) planks using a mandoline. In small batches to avoid overcrowding, fry the plantain planks until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently move the plantains around in the oil as they fry--this helps them crisp up. Drain on paper towels or a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle the chips immediately with the salt and smoked paprika. Serve with the sweet chile dipping sauce.
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