Recipe: Fermented Chili Sauce

This recipe is inspired by the well known American made Sriracha sauce. Just a little backstory for you all: Sriracha has been produced in California since 1980 and the recipe has been the same since 1983. Founder David Tran started by making the sauce from leftover peppers that farmers left in the field. As the demand increased, he started sourcing peppers and found that the red jalapeno was best. The base of this sauce is very simple: chili, salt, sugar, garlic and distilled vinegar. In 2009, Sriracha was named by Bon Appetit as ingredient of the year.

The recipe below is a base recipe can be multiplied depending on your late harvest yield. We used a mix of some 15 different chilis that we grew on the farm this summer. Our 15 lb. batch of chilies yielded about 3 quarts of sauce.

Fermented Chili Sauce Recipe Ingredients:

 

  • 2 heaping handfuls of mixed chilies, stems off and cleaned (about 1 ½ lbs)
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 spoonfuls of brown sugar
  • 1 spoonful of kosher salt
  • ½ c. distilled white vinegar

Procedure:

 

  • Combine chilies, garlic, salt, sugar and vinegar into your food processor. Pulse until all the chilies are chopped very finely. Transfer the chili mixture to a clean vessel with an airtight lid, in our case we love to use ball jars. Let the jars sit a room temperature.
  • Each day, stir the contents of the jars as the fermentation starts. This will continue about 5-7 days until the fermentation stops (you will know the fermentation has halted one you don’t see very much activity happening in the jars).
  • Once your chilies are fermented transfer them to a blender. Blend until mixture is very smooth, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  • After pureeing the mixture, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pot. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes until it reaches desired consistency. The more you cook the sauce the thicker it will become.
  • Pour the boiling sauce into desired airtight containers and let seal at room temp.

Side note:

  • We saved all the pulp from straining the sauce, dehydrated it and ran it in the blender to make a fermented chili powder. The powder can be used in place of paprika, to spice up marinades or even on steaks.

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