Making “Hot Sauce” via Fermentation

Introduction

On my search to making my own foods I knew that I eventually would get into making hot sauces. Hot sauce is something that until about 3 or 4 years ago I had zero appreciation for. Now its something I feel that I couldn’t live without. And by hot sauce, I should mention that I don’t just mean something like Texas Pete, but rather things like Buffalo Sauce, and Franks Red Hot, or even probably my favorite mass produced hot sauce, Hooter’s 3 Mile Island sauce. (Although I make a killer nice buffalo sauce mixing Franks Hot Buffalo with Texas Petes Hotter Hot sauce).

I wasn’t that pleased with my first attempt at making my own hot sauce so I decided to try something else. I searched online for homemade cayenne pepper hot sauce and I came across the following site: Frugally Sustainable. Since one of the things I learned a little bit about at the Ben Falk permaculture design course was about fermenting foods, this immediately caught my eye. This is a classic case of fermenting a vegetable. The end results weren’t quite what I was expecting, but I got a little something out of it for sure.

Step One:

Fermented Peppers

Here is my Jar fermenting away in the cabinet.

The very first thing that you have to do is come across some cayenne peppers. I used some fresh from the garden. The directions said that they put some cloves of garlic in there, and being that we live down here in Louisiana, and its a sin not to eat garlic with every meal, I used a few cloves of garlic, for sure. Unlike her, I did actually cut the tops off. I filled the old salsa jar with cayenne peppers, cut a few cloves of garlic threw that in, put 2.5 teaspoons of salt, and then filled it with water. I marked the jar with the date that I made it, with the intent on finishing the process 3 weeks later. This would give it some time to ferment, effectively breaking down and making more nutrients available.

Step Two:

Blended Hot Sauce
The next thing is to blend up the peppers nice and well in a blender. Here is the blended fermented ingredients in the Ninja that my mom bought us for our wedding. Worked like a charm.

Step Three:

Filling Hot SauceThe next step is to find an appropriate bottle to put this much “hot sauce” in, I found that an old Frank’s Hot Buffalo sauce bottle was the perfect size. Understanding the consistency indicated that this wasn’t going to be a regular hot sauce, but something more of a condiment topping. Because of this I wouldn’t try putting this in a regular hot sauce bottle, but something that can be poured more easily.

Step Four:

Finish Hot Sauce
Enjoy.

Conclusion

I found that this recipe was a tad too salty for me. Next time I think that I will try it with a little less salt in it. I was also expecting some sort of typical “hot sauce” but what I got instead was a hot salsa type of thing. I have tried this with eggs, and like an egg casserole and it was a really good fit. I think it can be used in most locations where you would use some sort of salsa. It definitely has that distinct fermented taste. I think next time I will go back to using a vinegar based solution, but making it a bit more concentrated than I did last time, also I think I’ll use a habenero or two for heat. Being that this was only with cayennes I did not find it to be as hot as I would have liked, but its good for all around usages.

Enjoy.

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