Homemade Hot Sauce, Three Ways

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.

peppers for fermenting

peppers for fermenting

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.

hot sauces made from fermented pepper mash

hot sauces made from fermented pepper mash

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.

pressing pepper mash to get all the juice out

pressing pepper mash to get all the juice out

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.

bottling hot sauce

bottling hot sauce

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:

  1. Homemade: No-Rooster Chili Garlic Sauce
  2. Homemade: Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce
  3. Homemade: Fermented Hot Sauce
  4. Have Fun, Save Money: Make Your Own Hot Sauce (Mother Earth News)
  5. Brine Recipes (The Probiotic Jar)

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5 Responses to Homemade Hot Sauce, Three Ways

  1. Margaret says:

    Oh, every time I read one of your posts on hot sauce, I want to make some! Even more so now as we love and use the commercial version of all 3 of those hot sauces.

    But I need to read up on fermenting and all that first…a task for this winter, I’m thinking. You’ve mentioned some interesting titles in the past – what would be the 2 top titles you would recommend for a fermentation newbie like myself?
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – October 10, 2016My Profile

    • Dave says:

      Margaret, it sounds like you are a great candidate for making your own hot sauce then!

      Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten K. and Christopher Shockley is a great ‘first book’ for someone looking to ferment veggies. It explains the science, covers safety concerns, and talks about equipment needed. Then it goes on to list vegetables from A to Z and gives recipes for each one.

      Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Feifer is another new one I bought that I can recommend. It has less recipes than the first book, but covers the basics and has good sections on sauerkraut and kimchi. I used their recipe for Everyday Baechu Kimchi for my last batch of kimchi.

      If you’re interested in fermenting other foods, then The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz covers almost everything you could ever want to ferment, though he doesn’t offer much in the way of exact recipes.

      The Hot Sauce Cookbook by Robb Walsh is a good reference for hot sauces. I used his basic Sriracha recipe for this latest batch.

      And yes – I do collect cookbooks! 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    Your sauces look so vibrant. Chile Garlic sauce is one that I use fairly frequently, the store bought version. Seeing yours makes me want to grow my own! I’m looking forward to watching the video.
    Michelle recently posted…Garden Update – October 14, 2016My Profile

    • Dave says:

      The fermented chile garlic sauce has another level of flavor from the fermented peppers, not to mention it keeps better than the fresh version. The Huy Fong Foods brand I buy has preservatives in it, which is no doubt why it keeps so well.

  3. Susie says:

    Yum!! I look forward to checking out your video when posted – nice to be in touch with a TV star. 🙂

    I am in the process of fermenting a batch of Hungarian Hot Wax with a bit of garlic. I used a mason jar and bought a “pickle pipe”. They’ve been fermenting at least two weeks now and smell wonderful! Can’t for the life of me remember what I did with them … I think just water and salt? Ugh, I used to be better about documenting recipes. Ah well, I can always refer to your great posts if I need some ideas.
    Susie recently posted…Harvest Monday: October 10, 2016My Profile

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