How to Ferment Pepper Sauce


Choose the level of heat makes creating your own tangy fermented pepper sauce worthwhile. If you like an ultra-hot sauce, use habaneros -- if you like your sauce a bit milder, use jalapenos. To ferment, use a natural vegetable starter or whey -- such as the liquid that sits on top of yogurt -- to keep the peppers' flavors intact without obscuring them.

Things You'll Need

  • Garlic
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Vegetable starter or whey
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Cheesecloth
  • Wash the peppers under running water. Cut the stems from the peppers, but leave the flowery green tops intact. Three pounds of peppers yields about 1 quart of sauce.

  • Put the peppers in the food processor. Add 1 peeled garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon each of salt and sugar for each pound of peppers.

  • Dissolve 1 packet of vegetable starter -- for every 3 pounds of peppers -- in 1/4 cup warm water and add to the food processor. Alternatively, add 1/4 cup of fresh whey.

  • Puree the ingredients on high until smooth. Stop the processor and scrape the sides of the bowl down periodically while processing.

  • Transfer the puree to a glass jar, leaving at least 1 inch of head space. Seal the jar and set it in a cool place.

  • Leave the jar to ferment for seven days after it begins to bubble. Start tasting the pepper sauce after seven days of fermenting to determine its potency.

  • Strain the pepper sauce through a sieve lined with cheesecloth and into a mixing bowl after it ferments to the desired potency. As it strains, press the solids against the sieve to render all the liquid.

  • Funnel the sauce into a glass jar. Fermented pepper sauce stays fresh for about six months at room temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • Reserve the pepper solids remaining in the sieve for use in soups and sauces -- anywhere a punch of heat is needed.

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