A few few weeks ago I wrote about how to make a Fermented Pepper Mash. It’s fun and easy to do, and all you need are hot peppers and salt. I get my peppers from our garden, but you can certainly use peppers from farmers markets and the grocery store as well. I fermented several pint jars of them the last couple of weeks, and now it’s time to talk about how to turn them into hot sauce.
I use a mix of different hot peppers to make hot sauce, including cayenne, serrano, and jalapeno. I generally use ripe ones, but green ones can also be used, and green jalapenos make a distinctive and tasty hot sauce. In the above photo I am getting ready to ferment a mix that includes red cayenne, the orange Aji Golden, and a red ‘mystery’ hot pepper I grew from seed this year that didn’t turn out true to type.
There are three hot sauces that I like to make from the fermented pepper mash. The first is a chili garlic sauce that uses the fermented peppers plus garlic, vinegar and a pinch of sugar. The ingredients are chopped together in a food processor, and result is a chunky sauce that has both the heat from the peppers and garlicky overtones. You can find my recipe for it here: No-Rooster Chili Garlic Sauce. It makes a great addition to stir-fries and soups, and I also like to put a spoonful (or two) on baked potatoes and burritos. Kept refrigerated, this sauce should keep for several months.
The second hot sauce is similar to many popular commercial brands like Tabasco, Crystal and Frank’s RedHot. To make it, you add about 1 tbsp of vinegar to each cup of fermented peppers, then process in a food processor or blender until the peppers are finely chopped. Next, set a fine-mesh metal strainer over a mixing bowl and add the pepper/vinegar mix. Press the pepper mash with a spoon against the sides of the strainer to extract the juice. Keep pressing the mash to extract as much juice as possible, adding a little additional vinegar if necessary. One cup of pepper mash should make about a half pint (4 oz). of finished sauce. The juice can then be bottled and should keep in the refrigerator for about a year.
The third hot sauce is a Sriracha-style sauce. It has a thicker consistency than the Tabasco-style sauce, more like ketchup. To make it, mix 1 tbsp of brown sugar and 3 tbsp of vinegar in a blender, then add 1 clove of garlic and 1/2 cup of the fermented pepper mash. I like to use a rice vinegar, but other vinegar will work as well. Puree until smooth, adding additional vinegar as needed to get the consistency you like. Bottled and refrigerated, this sauce should keep for several months.
If local readers want to tune in, I will be on WEHT Local Lifestyles on Friday to talk about making homemade hot sauce, and doing some taste-testing. I’ll post a link to the video as it is available. My wife will also be on the show talking about using leaves for printing on fabric.
For more information and recipes for making your own hot sauce:
- Homemade: No-Rooster Chili Garlic Sauce
- Homemade: Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce
- Homemade: Fermented Hot Sauce
- Have Fun, Save Money: Make Your Own Hot Sauce (Mother Earth News)
- Brine Recipes (The Probiotic Jar)