Hot sauce is one condiment that seems to have cult following. There are so many different styles, flavours and heat levels. But the key to a really amazing hot sauce is FERMENTATION!
Here is a basic recipe for hot sauce. Feel free to use it as a base for designing your own hot sauce, or follow one my favourite hot sauce flavour combinations at the bottom of the post.
- 1 cup of vegetables (usually all just hot peppers, but see below for other ideas)
- 1 cloves garlic
- ¾ tsp salt (non-iodized)
- ¼ cup of water (chlorine free)
- Finely chop all the vegetables and garlic in a food processor.
- Mix with the salt and water, then pack into a jar for fermenting.
- Ferment somewhere cool for 5-14 days.
- Strain into a jar for storage in the fridge and discard the pulp.
- If you want to add additional flavours like lime juice, vinegar or sugar, do this to the liquid after straining.
-The combination of hot peppers and salt will help prevent your hot sauce from going off. However, I always recommend starting with a sterile jar.
-It is also important to keep out the oxygen, so either use a fido, an airlock or a weight to keep the vegetables below the brine.
Types of Hot Peppers
To make your own brand of fermented hot sauce, you need to figure out how hot you want it. The key is in the combinations of peppers you use. There are literally more than 50,000 different types of peppers worldwide. Here are a few of the more commonly found types of peppers and their hotness on a scale of 1 to 5:
- Sweet bell pepper: This is the mild, snacking variety of pepper that is not at all hot.
- Poblano (Ancho): A large dark green pepper that is a 2.
- Hot Banana: There are also sweet banana peppers, but the hot ones are a spiciness of 2.
- Jalapeno (or chipotle when dried and smoked): A very common hot pepper with a spiciness of 3.
- Cayenne and Thai Chile: Both are small, thin red peppers that are a 5 on the scale of spiciness.
- Habanero: A small bright orange pepper that is another hot and spicy 5.
Hot Sauce Flavour Combinations
There are so many options for adding flavours. A portion of the hot peppers can be replaced with onions, carrots or fruit. Also, many hot sauces involve the addition of vinegar or lemon juice, etc. This fermented hot sauce doesn’t need the extra acidity; however, if you like a more acidic hot sauce add 1 tbsp of vinegar after fermentation.
Here are a few of my favourite hot sauces.
- Mild Manners Hot Sauce: This is a kid-friendly “not-hot” sauce. Use 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/4 cup of onion and 1/4 cup of hot banana peppers for the vegetables.
- Sweet Mango Hot Sauce: Use 1/2 cup of mango and 1/2 cup of cayenne peppers. Then add 1 tbsp of lime juice and 1 tsp of sugar after fermentation.
- Smokey Chipotle Sauce: I love the flavour of chipotle peppers. Use the whole dried pepper, not the jarred ones. Grind 4 chipotle peppers up with a 1/4 cup of onion and 1/4 cup of hot banana peppers. Add an extra 1/4 cup of water to the mix to re-hydrate the chipotles.
- Knock Your Socks Off Sauce: Use a mix of straight habanero and cayenne peppers for the hottest of hot sauces.
Tried any other combinations? Share in the comments section below.