Imagine combining the spicy zing of your favorite Tobasco sauce with the complex flavors and live-culture, probiotic goodness of a lactic acid ferment, and you get this amazing homemade hot sauce – one that we make at the end of summer and enjoy all winter long.
How to Make Homemade Hot Sauce
First, we start with ripe, fresh chiles.
These are Long Thin Cayenne Peppers mixed with a few yellow hot peppers, but you could also use green chiles like seranos or jalapenos for a green hot sauce.
Cut off the stems and chop into a couple of pieces, and loosely pack into a mason jar.
Mix a 5% brine (3 TBSP salt per quart water) in another container.
Pour this over the chiles and cover with a cloth or a lid that is left slightly a jar.
The technique is exactly like making naturally fermented pickles.
I like to keep this jar on my counter where I will see it every day and remember to invert the jar 1 or 2 times per day to keep mold from forming on the surface.
Alternatively, you could weigh down the peppers with a glass weight designed especially for fermenting.
After a week or two, the liquid should be cloudy, the sign of lactic acid bacteria proliferating, and the ferment should taste delightfully sour/tart. Now we’re ready to blend the peppers into your lacto-fermented hot sauce!
Carefully blend the chiles and brine into a velvety red puree.
You might not need to add ALL the brine – start with a small amount and add to your desired consistency – more for a liquidy, Tobasco-like sauce, less for a thicker paste-like hot sauce.
We usually add a few drizzles of apple cider vinegar, just to increase the acidity, which helps your homemade hot sauce keep longer.
Store your homemade lacto-fermented hot sauce in a cool or refrigerated place, and enjoy a bit of summer heat all year long!
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