Once upon a time, I had a recipe for something called “hot pepper salad”.
Why was it called “hot pepper salad”? I don't know! Salads are typically cold and made with fresh veggies… This was a chunky canned concoction.
In addition to its confusing moniker, it had 3 cups of white sugar and Accent seasoning (straight-up MSG, folks — no thank you!).
Despite all of this, I loved it! But then I learned about Real Food, and couldn't justify eating it anymore… until I made my own!
Out with the old, in with the new!
In this case, new being tangy, spicy, fermented goodness! And if you have a hard time waiting for your veggies to ferment (like me), good news: it takes just a couple days! (Sooner if it's warm.)
A Word Of Caution
Always wear gloves when handling hot peppers!
Capsaicin (the compound in peppers that makes them hot) does not wash off easily. Even after washing dishes several times, lots of hand-washing, and a shower, I still got a nasty surprise when taking my contacts out in the evening after neglecting to wear gloves! 😛
Even milder peppers like banana peppers, can burn your hands when you handle large quantities. I discovered this the hard way too, after a day of canning banana peppers.
“I won't need gloves for these… they're not that hot!”
Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
If this happens to you (don't let it!), slather your hands in cold, prepared yellow mustard. Both the turmeric and vinegar are anti-inflammatory and will provide nearly instant relief. Reapply several times if necessary.
Veggies + Salt + 48 Hours = Super Easy Raw Fermented Hot Pepper Sauce
That's all it takes to make this delicious, gut-healthy condiment! Let's get started!
Raw Fermented Hot Pepper Sauce
Easy, tangy, spicy and full of probiotic goodness, this lacto-fermented hot pepper sauce will kick your favorite foods up a notch (or three!).Makes 1 pint.
- 1 1/2 cups sliced jalapeños (remove seeds and membranes for milder sauce)
- 1/2 cup sliced onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 cups roma tomatoes, pureed (about 4 tomatoes)
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 to 3 teaspoons honey, coconut syrup, stevia, or other preferred sweetener, to taste (optional)
- Add sliced jalapenos, onions, and garlic to a clean and sterilized pint Mason jar.
- In a small bowl or glass measure, combine tomato puree, allspice, and sea salt.
- Pour mixture into the jar.
- OR, for smooth sauce, blend all ingredients together and then combine in sterilized pint Mason jar.
- Gently tap the jar to dislodge air bubbles and pack the veggies down well into the liquid (if you have a Pickle Packer or Prepper Pro, use it!).
- Add fermenting weights to keep the veggies submerged.
- Secure the jar with your preferred fermenting lid or airlock.
- Leave on the counter for approximately 48 hours (less if warm).
- Add optional sweetening, to taste.
- Puree, if desired and not already smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator.
I leave my veggies whole for fermenting, then puree them into a sauce, but you can also puree them before fermenting.
Although the original recipe is sweet and chunky, my version is good savory, sweet, chunky, or smooth! Take your pick. If you want to try it sweet (and I highly recommend it), add up to a tablespoon of your favorite natural sweetener (honey, coconut syrup, stevia) after the ferment is finished.
Want to make the sauce milder? No problem! Since the majority of capsaicin in jalapeños is in the seeds and membranes, simply remove the seeds and cut out the membranes before fermenting. Or, increase the amount of tomato puree. Be sure to increase the salt proportionally, too.
Put This Raw Fermented Pepper Sauce On All The Things!
This is a wonderful way to spice up all your favorite foods. Surprisingly, my son liked it too, even though I'm usually the one who likes spicy foods!
Try fermented pepper sauce on or in…
- Eggs — scrambled, fried, omelettes, quiches, egg casseroles (add a dollop of sour cream if it's too spicy for you)
- Grilled meats
- Quesadillas, tacos, burritos, or any Southwestern dish
- Roasted veggies
- Cottage cheese
- Mayonnaise (think spicy sandwich spread)
- In place of ketchup, or anywhere you want a spicy, tangy sauce!
Will you try this fermented pepper sauce? What will you put it on?
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