If you haven’t discovered the health benefits of fermented foods yet, this sauce is a great place to start.
Not only are ferments long-lasting, naturally preserved foods (no more shriveled black chilies in the bottom of the fridge), but they also have amazing benefits for the health of your gut.
This homemade hot sauce provides us with a complex flavoured condiment that will awaken food, without covering otherwise healthy meals in sugary sauces (tomato, barbecue and hot sauces are notorious for being very high in sugar).
Hot sauce is the perfect first step on your fermenting journey (yes, you are going to have a fermenting journey), because it’s so easy to make and only has two ingredients (one of which you will already have in the cupboard). The only thing you really need to ask yourself is, “How hot do I want it?”
I usually make this with habenero chilies, and it is hot—hotter than anything you can buy in the shops. This same recipe can be made with any type of chili, and milder varieties still produce awesome results.
There are thousands of uses for this fiery little devil—it’s a punchy addition to a plain salad dressing, mix it with roast tomatoes to make a healthy ketchup, or splash it on anything and everything. Remember, if you don’t want to kill off all the probiotic bacteria you just created—don’t cook it above 65c/149f.
Ingredients and method:
• 4 cups red chilies (any variety or mixture you like)
• 2 tbsp sea salt
Step 1: Remove the green stalks from the chilies.
Step 2: Place chilies in a blender (or if you have no blender, go wild with a knife) with the salt and blend until mushy. Do not lean over to see how it smells!
Step 3: Transfer mixture to a clean glass jar and seal. The sauce will take between two and five days, depending on the climate (the hotter your climate, the quicker it takes), you should see bubbles appearing after the first day. Stir the sauce everyday or twice a day if you can, this keeps the top layer from drying out and going bad.
Step 4: Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or muslin cloth into another clean glass jar or bottle. The liquid part is your hot sauce, the rest is a very hot fermented chili paste. You can put the chili paste in the fridge and cook with it, but it wont last as long as the sauce. Once the sauce is strained, you can either transfer it to the fridge or mature it by leaving it in the jar or bottle in a cool dark place (I usually do this for two weeks, it intensifies the heat and flavour) before placing in the fridge.
Author: Micky Simpson
Images: Author’s own
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina