Fermented Hot Sauce

Jaye Fong
by Jaye Fong
1 12 oz bottle
168 hr 15 min

A lot of people are intimidated by lacto-fermentation at home, but there is no need to fear! It is quite easy, especially when it comes to making highly acidic foods like hot sauce.

This recipe will help you turn fresh ingredients into your own homemade hot sauce. As with all fermentation projects, it takes practice and patience, but it is very rewarding. You can tweak this recipe to suit your ingredients and taste.

My own hot sauce turned out potent, but delicious. There is a sharp kick and "funk" that comes from lacto-fermentation so it isn't for everyone. I added honey and vinegar to help balance the taste. The spice level comes down to what types of peppers you use. The chunkiness depends on how well you blend the mixture.

the final product

The final color will vary depending on what ingredients you use!

Recipe details
  • 1  12 oz bottle
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 168 Hours Total time: 168 hr 15 min
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  • 470g (2 cps) water, lukewarm (filtered or boiled and cooled preferable)
  • 18g (3 tsp) kosher salt
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 4–6 garlic cloves, cut in quarters
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 150g (1 cp) chili peppers, sliced (I used a combination of serrano, jalapeno, banana, fresno)
  • 100g (1 cp) celery leaves (leaves from 1-2 stalks of celery)
  • 30g-40g (1–3 tbsp) white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • honey or other sweeteners to taste

In a medium pot, bring water to simmer and dissolve salt. Cool to room temperature.
Wash all vegetables well.
Wearing gloves, slice the hot peppers into small pieces or rounds, removing the stems and seeds for less heat if desired.
Trim and cut garlic in half.
Trim and dice shallot.
Trim and dice carrot.
Trim and cut the celery leaves.
Layer all the vegetables into a jar tightly.
Pour the cooled brine solution overtop and gently press the vegetables down so they are completely submerged.
Cover gently with a lid (do NOT tightly seal) and place the jar on a towel or in a pan. The fermenting process causes gas to escape and often the jar will leak liquid as these gases make their way up the jar.
Place the jar in a cool place for 7 days until the brine is cloudy.
Strain the brine out and retain it.
Place all the fermented vegetables into a blender with just enough of the bring solution to help blend it smoothly. You can add more brine solution to reach the consistency you like, but be warned, it is strong.
Add vinegar and sweetener to taste.
Jar/bottle the hot sauce and store in the fridge!
Keeps 8-12 months.
  • FILTERED/BOILED WATER - Tap water can have trace elements that are not good for the fermentation process, so it is best to use filtered, distilled, or boiled water when fermenting.
  • NOT ENOUGH BRINE SOLUTION - If you need to add more brine, use the ratio of 1 1/2 tsp salt per 1 cp water.
  • TOO SPICY - You can balance the hot sauce by using carrots, berries, or citrus fruits. These will add sweetness to your hot sauce, but they should be added during the fermentation process, not after.
  • TOO THIN - You can use xanthan gum to thicken your hot sauce. You'll want to add a tiny bit at a time post-blend. I recommend 1/8 or 1/4 tsp at a time.
Jaye Fong
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