Fiery Green Hot Sauce

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What do you get when you combine mashed chilis, white vinegar, and a little salt? A homemade hot sauce with super-fresh, vibrant flavor that beats the pants off of anything store bought. At least so says the Mouse.

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Some things are too good to resist. For those of you who don’t know me that well, I should preface this by saying: I have a serious make-your-own streak in me.

From hot cocoa, to marshmallows, to all different kinds of liqueurs, if it can be made at home, chances are I’ll be interested in giving it a shot.

Why bother?

The simplest answer is: Because I can. Making stuff is always at least half the fun for me. I’m one of those folks who truly loves to play with my food.

So, all that said…last month, I kept going back to a recent issue of Saveur, which has a mouthwatering recipe for a Tabasco-y sounding, white vinegar-based hot sauce.

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My only problem? I couldn’t find red chilis anywhere in Boston. I did get my paws on some beautiful jalapenos and serranos, though, so I used those and improvised a green hot sauce.

And man, is it hot!

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Jalapeno Peppers

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Serrano chilis

This hot sauce is very thin and has a clean and true jalapeno flavor. Serranos, which are a little hotter than jalapenos, give the sauce a fiery boost and deepen the chili flavor.

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I have a pretty big kitchen garden in the summers, and I can’t wait to make hot sauce from my own peppers.

Hot sauce is personal: Pick your own peppers

I used a mix of jalapenos and serranos this time. Mainly because I like those flavors a lot, and I found super fresh peppers. By all means, use a combination of any chilis you like.

Keep heat in mind. (i.e. Don’t use 100% habeneros, one of the hottest peppers out there, unless you’re shooting for a melt-your-face-off hot sauce.)

Not sure which peppers are hot and which are, well, not? Look them up on the Scoville scale, a standard heat index for peppers.

Fiery Green Hot Sauce: The basic technique

Here’s the basic technique. Use a ratio of 1 pound of chilis to 2 cups of white vinegar.

+Chop and salt the peppers.
+Age mixture for 2 days.
+Add vinegar.
+Age another 5 days.
+Strain and bottle.

Read on for a step-by-step photo explanation of how to do this.

Fiery Green Hot Sauce

.8 lbs. jalapenos
.2 lbs. serrano chilis
3 Tbls. kosher salt
2 cups distilled white vinegar

Fiery Green Hot Sauce: Wash and chop your chilis

Grab your peppers. Rinse them in cold water and wipe them completely dry.

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Cut off the stem off of each pepper.

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Discard all those stems.

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You’re going to use the rest of the whole pepper: flesh, ribs, and seeds.

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Toss all your peppers into the bowl of your food processor.

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Add the salt to the bowl.

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Cap your food processor.

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Turn your machine on and process until the peppers are finely chopped.

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You want it to be chopped to a pulp, like this:

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Scrape the chopped peppers out into a very clean bowl.

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You should have a mound of pepper pulp plus some liquid. That’s just fine.

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Fiery Green Hot Sauce: Let the salted chilis ripen for 2 days

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set it in a cool dark place to ripen for 2 days.

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Fiery Green Hot Sauce: Add the vinegar to the salted chilis

After 2 days, uncover the peppers. The mixture will be thicker and have less liquid than it originally did.

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Transfer the chilis to another, larger (and super-clean) bowl.

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Add the vinegar.

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Whisk to combine well.

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Your hot sauce should have about this consistency:

Fiery Green Hot Sauce at The Hungry Mouse

Cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Set in a cool, dark place. Let age for 5 days.

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After a few days, your hot sauce should start to darken. After 5 days, my hot sauce looked like this (not nearly as vibrant, but man, is it good):

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Fiery Green Hot Sauce: Strain and bottle your hot sauce

After 5 days, you’re ready to strain and bottle your hot sauce. Set a strainer over a large bowl.

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Pour the hot sauce through the strainer.

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All your solids will wind up in the strainer.

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Press the chili pulp with the back of a spoon to smoosh out any remaining liquid.

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The hot sauce in your bowl should look about like this:

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Set a funnel in the top of a clean bottle or jar. (I saved and used the bottle from the white vinegar.) Ladle or pour the hot sauce slowly through the funnel into the bottle.

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Cap your hot sauce with a tight-fitting lid. Keep in the fridge for about 6 months or so.

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The hot sauce will separate a little in the fridge. Just give it a little shake before using.

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Fiery Green Hot Sauce

What do you get when you combine mashed chilis, white vinegar, and a little salt? A homemade hot sauce with super-fresh, vibrant flavor that beats the pants off of anything store bought.

Save Recipe

Ingredients

.8 lbs. jalapenos
.2 lbs. serrano chilis
3 Tbls. kosher salt
2 cups distilled white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry your peppers. Remove the stems and discard.
  2. Puree with salt in a food processor. Scrape the chopped peppers out into a very clean bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set it in a cool, dark place to ripen for 2 days.
  4. After 2 days, uncover the peppers. The mixture will be thicker and have less liquid than it originally did.
  5. Transfer the chilis to another, larger (and super-clean) bowl. Whisk in the vinegar.
  6. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Set in a cool, dark place. Let age for 5 days.
  7. Strain, bottle, and store in the fridge. Enjoy!
  8. Your hot sauce will keep well for about 6 months in the fridge. It can separate, so shake before using.
http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/02/19/fiery-green-hot-sauce/


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

49 COMMENTS

    • Wheee! Thank you! πŸ˜€ Oh gosh, the kitchen garden varies from year to year. I don’t start my plants from seed, so it really depends what kind of seedlings I can get my paws on.

      So…Last year, I did a few different varieties of tomato. The Husky Cherry Tomatoes were the most robust tomato plant I’ve ever grown. I also grew jalapenos, habaneros, long Italian peppers, cayenne, bell peppers, and a whole mess of herbs. I planted beans and pumpkins, too, but they didn’t take as well.

      Oh and mint. I had an out-of-control mint patch. πŸ˜€

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  1. First of all, this sounds great! I love hot sauce, I grow chilies, and it’s easy.

    Second, your pictures are awesome! The one of the hot sauce pouring into the funnel where it looks like a green vapor is wicked-cool!

  2. Jessie,
    This is fantastic!!! We love hot sauces and use jalapenos in about every dish at every meal. I am serious.Breakfast in omelets, lunch in salads and dinner chicken or a salad again.

    This is great !!!!

    Thank you Thank you Thank you πŸ™‚

  3. That is so brilliantly green it almost seems fake. Reminds me of green jello and all those wonderful kids drinks that turn your mouth a glowingly nuclear shade of green for hours.

  4. Oh, I can’t wait to make this! I’m so addicted to hot chile sauces, I make almost every one I come across.

    Question, if you don’t mind – what kind of knife is that in the picture where you’re cutting off the pepper’s head?

  5. I made a sauce like this one time, but I think I should have used a different type of pepper. It was SMOKIN’ hot. I meant for it to be used on eggs and such, but as it turned out, its best use was probably refinishing furniture.

    On gardens, last summer we did tomatoes, bell peppers, and herbs. The basil was off the hook. I thought I’d never use it all. Still smells vaguely like pesto around here…

    • Heee! Yeah, it is really hot stuff.

      I’ll bet you could make a really good sauce, though, using mostly milder peppers (maybe Poblanos or Anaheims), with a few hotter ones thrown in for heat.

      And your garden sounds wonderful! Basil is so wonderful when it grows like crazy like that.

      +Jessie

  6. I’ll have to try this aged and uncooked sauce. I make a cooked hot sauce that I prefer unstrained. I like to use hot cherry peppers, because their fleshy nature gives the final sauce a lot of fruit/ pepper flavor. The recipe I use is adopted from Tyler Florence’s *Fire Water* at foodtv.com :

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/fire-water-recipe/index.html

    It’s a very pretty (and thick) sauce when made with cherry peppers and left unstrained.

    K

    • Thanks for stopping by. πŸ˜€

      Let me know how you like it. It’s very thin and vinegar-y. And thanks so much for the link! I like this green sauce, myself, but The Angry Chef prefers a thicker red sauce. Can’t wait to try it.

      Cheers!
      +Jessie

  7. Wow !! thais looks really good..i too love making my own everything when I have the drive to tho…n I will certainly try this…love the green..Thanks so much for sharing…here we also pickle our chillies…just slice them slantwise and soak them in vinegar and a littl salt and keep in a jar..but I dont like them much..much prefer sauces.

  8. Great recipe, great site, and love the photos.

    As you mentioned, it separated in the fridge, but I found a way around that. I added 1/8th teaspoon of Xanthan Gum (amazon.com or a health food store) slowly while mixing with a hand blender, and now it all stays together.

  9. I recently made my own green sauce too! I used my own thai chilis that never fully ripened before the cold hit. I added cumin, garlic, basil, and half a green apple. It’s so good that I’m just searching for foods to use it with!

  10. I am making this recipe for my husband. So far so good. Should it sit in the fridge for 6 months before he eats it??

  11. This recipe is great. The flavor is spot on, and gives me something to do with the rest of the peppers from my garden. You can only eat so much salsa! I just made a batch with a LB of peppers from my garden and it was great. I did want to thicken it a bit so after the steps listed here I heated it to a simmer killed the heat and added a cornstarch slurry. It didn’t seem hurt the flavor or appearance. Now it is perfect flavor and consistency. THANKS for the recipe!

  12. I have a questions. What is the reason for straining it? Could you leave all the seeds and pulp in it if you wanted to, making it more of a thicker/chunkier sauce? This recipe looks fantastic, I am definitely going to try it with all Serrano’s.

  13. Hey HM,

    It’s been five days (actually six!), so I’m going to strain my sauce. But do you have any suggestions for the leftover solids, instead of just throwing them away (::gasp!::)??

    My jalaps are homegrown so I take pride in all of my product and want to “use every part of the cow.”

    Thanks!

    MarcusD
    <

    • Did you ever get a reply as to what to use the solids for; what did you end up doing with them? I’m in the same position, grew all peppers from seed and don’t want to waste any. I was think it would be like a hot pepper relish; Thanks;

  14. I will make this! It looks great! I have so many peppers on my serrano and jalapeno plants though that I could make this and another variety. I have quite a few red serranos that I thought would be fun for a red sauce. Have you made one of those yet?

  15. Hey my sauce has developed some white build up on the bottom of my jar. Is this normal? or is it mold? any input would be much appreciated

  16. Brian that is likely yeast.

    as a first attempt I pureed 1 pound of leftover jalapeΓ±os with 3% salt by weight and enough water to whirl it up into a slurry. This went into a quart mason jar with some folded over cheesecloth as a covering and placed in a dark cupboard. It fermented quite rapidly and after a few days I had to knock it on the counter to get it to resettle. Ultimately I left this for 30 days without messing with it even when I saw some mold growing on the top. I then lightly scraped the mold off and placed the thickened mixture in a blender with 3 cups of white vinegar and about a tablespoon of kosher salt. Whirled that up and then strained it through a cheesecloth. The smell is amazing and as fresh as the day I started. Taste is of piquant jalapeΓ±os. Amazing. If I can get my hands on some fresh cayenne I may never buy tabasco sauce again (which is a badass product on its own and hard to beat!). I won’t tell my friends how green sauce is made. Let them figure it out…

  17. I just did this and looks great..!! Does it have to be refriduated?? I like to hand some out without having to keep it cold at all times

  18. Hi! I plan on trying this but was wondering if you have ever made it with addition of garlic?
    Love the pictures, thanks for sharing!

  19. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been playing around with a couple mixtures. Pure jalapeno, pure serrano, and straight up habenero. All very tasty. A some garlic tossed in these is wonderful. Actually just preparing to make a ghost, black beauty, rosemary, garlic, parsley sauce in a few minutes, that’s why I’m back on your site. Thank You for the recipes. Oh, if you haven’t tried it already Jeremy, I have had some of mine unrefrigerated for 4-5 months at a time. Stays very well. Aloha

  20. awsome. recipe just finished mae to king it. came out a little thin so i put on the stove and heated it a little & added some corn starch slurry to thicken it slightly great flavor.
    thanks for the recipe

  21. I just bot a tray of serranos, somewhere between 8oz and 16oz. My son and I are both fans of hot stuff. I washed them, threw them in a blender with 2 tsp of salt and as little vinegar as possible and a respectable shake of garlic powder. Only thing I had was rice vinegar and balsamic. I should have opted for white unless you like things with a touch of sweetness. Didn’t consider aging ingredients. Tonights dinner couldn’t wait. No straining, no fussing….nice bite from the chili sauce!

  22. I found white vinegar to be stronger than I like — so I use lemon juice instead (or a mix of lemon and lime.) Sublime.

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