Fermented Chilli Sauce

Here is a super simple Fermented Chilli Sauce Recipe that can be done at home using the lacto-fermentation process….the same way Tobasco sauce is made!!

Ingredients

30 x What ever chillis you want (I used Carolina Reapers)

1 x Red Capsicum

3 x Cloves of Garlic (Or more if you want)

1 x Teaspoon Sugar

Brine Mix of 500 ml water / 10 grams of fine rock salt or sea salt

1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar

Xanthan gum (Optional)

Firstly….I am no fermenter and certainly not a chef and I succeeded…this can be done at home with absolutely no special equipment…well fermenting food has been done for thousands of years by many different cultures with not too many issues so not sure what all the crazy equipment is about anyways…..here goes

Step 1 – Fermentation stations:

Cut up all the chillis and capsicum, remove any white from the capsicum, that part just tastes like shit. Add garlic and sugar then grind it up in a food processor, blender, pestle and mortar…what ever you have that can make things small. Grind it all down to a chunky consistency…we want actual bits to ferment…if you have liquidized it you already have sauce and cant read instructions.

Add this ‘chilli mash’ to your fermenting receptacle…any glass jar will do. (Or ‘mason’ jar as the hipsters like to say).

Make a brine of salt and water….it is important that the ratio is correct¬† 500 ml water / 10 grams of salt. Too much salt and the good bacteria will be killed, not enough salt and the bad bacteria will take over. Very important to use good sea salt – NOT Iodised table salt (this can fuck up your fermenting by killing too many of the good bugs)

Combine that shit! Place lid over jar and put away in a warm dark place. Don’t even think about looking at it for 48 hours…it takes between 24 and 72 hours for the fermentation process to start.

You will see many people use fancy ‘airlocks’ (as shown in photo) this is to keep any air out of the jar but also let the jar release gasses as it needs. If you don’t have one, just sit a plastic container over your jar…as any gasses build up they will push their way out….Just please don’t screw a jar lid on as pressure may build up and crack the glass.

Let it ferment from 1 week to 2 months…as long as there are still bubbles, and it doesn’t smell like a yeast infection it should be good.

Step 2 – Get Saucy:

When you are happy it is fermented enough, add some apple cider vinegar to taste, liquidize in a blender or hand masher, and pour into bottle. If you want a thicker sauce you can add some xanthan gum when blending.

This is just a basic recipe, feel free to play around with adding more sugar, maybe lime juice, maybe add the ‘chilli mash’ to another sauce recipe you have…you cant go wrong!

The acidity in the vinegar stabilise the sauce and will stop the fermentation process and the sauce will keep for for a few months, or longer in the fridge!

Collecting Chilli Seeds

Collecting chilli seeds is simple….but there are a few rookie mistakes that I learned the hard way…follow these tips and I will be surprised if you fail.

Number one rule: 

Always collect seeds from the healthiest and best looking pods!!!

Remember the seeds are the plants reproductive system and just like humans we want to keep the sexy lines going!

  • Wait for the pods to fully ripen
  • Let pods sit in a warm area for a week or two to soften
  • Cut pod open and scrape seeds on to a paper towel, write variety on the paper towel…most important step!
  • Spread seeds out individually, yep its painstaking but so worth it (wear gloves because that capcacian really gets under your nails and stays there allllll day)
  • Leave to dry in a warm shaded spot for about 10 days, ensure seeds are fully dry before storing or they will go moldy.
  • Discard any seeds with dark spots or dodgy looking ones
  • Store in plastic bags, in the fridge or a cool dark place
  • Remember to label the bags….yep I have failed this test many times

IMG_3032Carolina Reaper Seeds