Smashed peppers, garlic, chickweed & green tomatoes pictured above with some tools of the trade : a mortar and pestle, and Korean onggi fermentation vessel from Eliefs
The concept is simple, the hotter the peppers you use the hotter the sauce it makes. If you combine a mixture of peppers you will most likely find that the flavour of the hottest pepper will dominate.
Personally, I love to use scotch bonnets which make a beautiful bright orange sauce. Light will cause the colour of your sauce to fade so if that is a factor for you, store it in a dark place.
Peppers have a greater tendency to mold than most other vegetables, so it’s recommended to use a brine that is 3.5 – 5% salinity. This means, if you are using 1 Litre of water (a standard size of glass jar), then you would add 35g – 50g of good quality salt
We recommend that whenever possible, you do your research, buy from local producers and support small businesses. Please talk to people and ask them about their process! Producers want to tell you what makes their product so special. A simple meal made with quality ingredients will always be superior in our opinion. Plus, when you are invested in your food and take care in every step of the process, you will end up with a meal that is deeply satisfying. If you want to learn more specifics about general categories of salt (like the things you will see when you walk into a grocery store), take a look at this article from Cultures for Health
Some people also ferment their peppers in mashed form. If you choose to do this, you will need even more salt because pepper mash highly susceptible to mold so many brine recipes recommend a salinity of 10% (100g per litre of water). Alternatively, it is possible to use less salt and stir in benign molds, like in this recipe on the wild fermentation blog if you are attentive.
WHAT YOU NEED
fresh peppers, chopped roughly with seeds removed (if really hot use gloves!!) or whole with just the stems removed.
sterilized canning jar
- dechlorinated or spring water
- any other herbs and spices you may want to add. we like to add a handful of oregano, weeds like chickweed and even shredded carrot to mellow out the flavour.
WHAT TO DO
Stuff your peppers and garlic into a clean canning jar that is just a bit bigger than the quantity you have prepared. I like to use quart jars for this.
Dissolve 3 tbsp of salt in 1 quart of dechlorinated water. Pour this over your peppers. if it is not enough make a second batch.
Some people prefer to store in a dark spot. I have had good luck on my kitchen counter out of direct sunlight.
It is difficult to sample large hot peppers so every week I like to taste a small sip of the brine to see how it is progressing. Check every week but this process usually takes about 30 days.
Once the brine is sour and to your liking blend the vegetables including as much of the brine as you would like until you get the consistency you like. If you make it too watery, once the sauce settles the brine will rise to the top and you can spoon it off until you like the consistency.
Bottle into sterilized smaller bottles and store in fridge or cool place. You can also choose to stabilize the hot sauce by adding 20% vinegar to the bottles for longer/out of the fridge storage
When blending hot sauce watch your eyes as you remove lid. Hot pepper vapour can be unpleasant!