This fermented hot sauce recipe uses red jalapeño peppers, but you can use whatever hot peppers you have in your garden. Serrano peppers or cayenne peppers will turn up the heat. Use this condiment sparingly. It is flavorful and warming, you can choose how warm to make it.
Hot sauce, like Tabasco sauce, Sriracha sauce, and hot chili sauce get their heat from hot chili peppers and their flavors from the fruitiness of the peppers, from garlic, and from sugar. This hot sauce recipe is basic without the added ingredients you’d find in a store-bought hot sauce. The flavor is fruity and warm, just like the flavorful hot peppers you grow in your own garden. This lacto-fermented hot sauce recipe is also rich in probiotic lacto-bacteria to support your healthy microbiome.
This fermented hot sauce recipe uses red jalapeño peppers. You can use other hot peppers like Serrano peppers or cayenne peppers. The heat will vary depending on how hot your hot peppers are. See this post for an explanation of hot pepper heat units.
If you can’t find red jalapeño peppers, green unripened jalapeños will also work, but the heat will be less. Green jalapeños may turn red and ripen further if left at room temperature for a few days. This is more likely with jalapeños grown in your own garden or bought directly from the farm, than for jalapeños bought at the grocery store. Once they have been stored and chilled, they may stop the ripening process.
If you’d like your hot sauce with more garlic, go ahead and add six peeled and halved, raw garlic cloves to the ferment.
The fermentation adds a sweetness of its own because of the lacto-bacteria. This can be augmented with brown or organic sugar to taste after the fermentation is complete, if you prefer your hot sauce to be more like a barbeque sauce.Print
Hot sauce, like Tabasco sauce, Sriracha sauce, and hot chili sauce get their heat from hot chili peppers and their flavors from the fruitiness of the peppers, from garlic, and from sugar. This hot sauce recipe is basic without the added ingredients you’d find in a store-bought hot sauce.
- 2 pounds red jalapeño peppers, stem removed
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and split (optional)
- Clean and sanitize your fermentation lock lid, glass weight, and quart jar.
- Wash the jalapeño peppers.
- Wearing disposable gloves, slice jalapeño peppers into rings, retaining the membrane and seeds. Place in a sanitized wide-mouth quart jar. Fill the jar to the shoulders, shaking the jar to compact more pepper rings into the jar.
- Mix salt and water in a glass measuring cup. Pour the prepared brine over the peppers to the shoulders of the jar, covering the peppers. Using a clean knife, dislodge any air bubbles in the jar.
- Place the glass weight into the neck of the glass jar.
- Top up the jar with more brine if necessary to fill the jar to the neck. Leave one inch of headspace to allow for the jar contents to expand during fermentation. Place the fermentation lock lid on top of the Mason jar. Screw the band to secure the lid in place.
- Place the jar on a plate to catch any spills. Ferment at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
- After 24 to 30 hours you will notice fine bubbles forming inside the jar. Those bubbles will become coarser and more numerous over the next 48 hours. The pepper rings will rise in the jar and the chamber of the fermentation lock will fill with liquid.
- The fermentation stops in the jar when the peppers sink to the bottom of the jar and you no longer see any bubbles rising in the jar.
- Remove the fermentation lid and weight. At this point, you have pickled jalapeño peppers. You can serve them at this point or take it one more step to make hot sauce.
- Move the pickled jalapeño rings into the jar of a blender. Leave the liquid behind, only using enough of the pickling brine, in the blend, to get your preferred thickness of hot pepper sauce.
- Blend on medium speed until you no longer see any seeds in the mixture and the hot pepper sauce is of a uniform consistency. Add more brine from the ferment to make the batch more liquid, if you prefer. It will thicken as it is blended.
Use your hot sauce by the drop not by the tablespoon. Kept refrigerated or stored in a cold storage room or root cellar, this hot sauce will last a year or more. The live lacto-bacteria helps to keep the hot sauce preserved.
Keywords: hot sauce, hot peppers, lactofermentation
Turn pickled peppers into fermented hot sauce
Move the pickled jalapeño rings into the jar of a blender. Leave the liquid behind, only using enough of the lacto-fermented pickling brine, in the blend, to get your preferred thickness of hot sauce.
I prefer to use the closed jar of a Magic Bullet Blender rather than an open blender like the Vitamix. The fumes from blending the peppers can be very strong and will make you catch your breath. Any pets in the room, infants, or toddlers may also experience difficulty breathing. By blending in a closed jar, this is minimized. If you don’t have a Magic Bullet Blender remove any children, infants, and pets from the room before proceeding with this step.
Blend on medium speed until you no longer see any seeds in the mixture and the hot pepper sauce is of a uniform consistency. Add more brine from the ferment to make the batch more liquid, if you prefer. It will thicken as it is blended.
Taste your hot sauce recipe by the drop and see if it has the flavor you are looking for.
At this point, you can make the lacto-fermented hot sauce sweeter by adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of organic sugar or brown sugar to the batch. Adding sugar is optional. Add it slowly a little at a time. You can’t take it away once you add it.
Using Hot Pepper Sauce
Lacto-fermented hot sauce is more flavorful than processed, store bought hot sauce. It contains all the vitamins, enzymes, and minerals of the garden grown hot peppers. It also contains live probiotics from the lacto fermentation. And its so easy to make this fermented hot sauce recipe at home. Once you’ve tasted homemade you’ll never go back.
For more information on using different kinds of peppers to make your hot sauce and gauging the heat see this post.