13th January 2015
I love hot sauce. Until a couple of months ago I never thought to make it myself. Now I’m starting on new batches every couple of weeks, experimenting with peppers – cayenne, habanero, chili, bird’s eye, jalepeño – and additional flavors – garlic, flavored vinegars (white wine, apple cider,…), fruit.
Before making my first batch, I did a lot of research about fermenting peppers to make hot sauce. It’s not difficult. Fermentation just requires patience. You need to let the peppers ferment for 4 to 6 weeks. I really enjoy checking on my conconctions every couple of days to watch the tiny bubbles forming.
The recipe I most closely followed comes from Tales of a Kitchen. It an easy, forgiving recipe that allows for variation.
Fermented Hot Sauce
- At least 100g of chili peppers (choose one type, or mix and match)
- Sea salt
- Wash your peppers. Cut off the stems, and weigh. Calculate 2% of the weight – that’s how much sea salt you will need to add.
- Roughly chop your peppers and add them to a clean jar. Add sea salt, garlic (I like mine really garlickly, about 1 clove per 50g of peppers), and enough water to cover, plus 1/2 a centimeter extra. Give it a good stir with a clean spoon.
- Cover jar with a paper towel or cheese cloth, and secure with an elastic band. This allows the peppers to breathe, but stops any dust or bugs from falling in.
- Place jar a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. I kept mine in a kitchen cupboard.
- Every other day check on the jar. You should see tiny bubbles forming. If any mold forms on top, simply grab a clean spoon and gently scrape it off, followed by a good stir and place the jar back in the pantry.
- The fermentation is finished when the tiny bubbles stop. This takes 4 to 6 weeks.
- Once the process is finished, pour the entire contents of the jar into a blender or food processor. If you’re adding any fruit, like mango, this is the time to add it. Puree for a few seconds until the mixture is very fine.
- Strain this mix through a fine sieve and press it with a spoon to get as much juice out as possible.
- Measure the liquid. Add half that amount in vinegar to the fermented pepper juice.
- Stir the contents, and add to a clean jar with a lid. Allow the hot sauce to rest for one day. This way the flavors really have a chance to mix.
- Keep the hot sauce in the refrigerator, and it’ll stay good for a year!