Cayenne Chili Sauce

This year, the cayenne harvest was HUGE, and I found myself with about five pounds of leftover chilies when I was done making the ristras. I looked on-line for recipes, but I didn’t see quite what I had in mind. I did find a cool recipe for fermented chili sauce like Tabasco and Sriracha, but I didn’t have the lactic acid culture it called for, and I’m impatient. So I improvised.


From harissa, I borrowed coriander, I added a good amount of garlic, and I used white vinegar in place of the lactic acid that would be present from the fermentation.


I took out about 3/4 of the seeds and white flesh to reduce the heat so the sauce could focus on the chili flavor.


Then I cooked the spices and garlic in olive oil to toast both.


Then I cooked the chilies, covered, with the vinegar, for about an hour, stirring regularly.



When the skins had separated mostly from the flesh, I processed the mixture through the finest die of my food mill.


I finished with salt and fish sauce to taste, jarred and processed. I opened one jar a week later, and it’s pretty yummy. Not quite the same as sriracha, but close, and more complex. Next year I will try the fermented version.