This has been a staple in my Hawk lair and I’ve been really enjoying spicing my meats and foraged dishes with the seasons best chile sauce. I’m very particular about the chiles, make sure you pick the best looking, unblemished peppers. You may even do a mix of peppers. Seasoned with fresh garlic this fermented hot chili sauce is rich with flavor, bright and fiery.
Seasoned with fresh garlic this fermented hot chili sauce is rich with flavor, bright and fiery.
3 pounds fresh chili peppers (Scotch bonnets, Jalapenos, Serranos etc.)
1 pound dried chile de arbol (this is optional)- chiles toasted and soaked in water
4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar (note: I prefer jaggery which can be found in most indian supply groceries)
2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
vegetable starter culture dissolved in 1/4 cup water, or 1/4 cup fresh whey (this is a bonus, because you can make ricotta that you can later use as a spread for your sauce on a nice piece of rustic toast!)
Snip the stems from the chilies, but leave their green tops intact.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, or mince by hand, until chopped to a fine pasty texture.
Spoon the chili paste into a sanitized glass mason jar and allow it to ferment, covered with cheese cloth, at room temperature for five to seven days. It will smell strong and go from vinegary to sweet and fragrant.
After the chili paste has bubbled and brewed for about a week, set a fine-mesh sieve over a mixing bowl and spoon the fermented chili paste into the sieve. With a wooden spoon, press the chili paste into the sides of the sieve so that the sauce drips from the sieve into the waiting mixing bowl. You may choose to not strain the sauce but will have a shorter shelf life and retain a lot more heat.
Once you’ve pressed and pushed the chili sauce through the sieve, pour the sauce from the bowl into a jar or bottle and store in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for several months.
This recipe yields about a quart.