Fermented Hot Pepper Sauce

This fermented hot pepper sauce is made with a blend of red habanero-, jalapeno-, cayenne- and bell peppers and deserves the name "Hot" trust me on that one :-)

My initial intention was to make a homemade Siracha sauce but as there were no red serrano peppers available I used some of my homegrown chillies instead and ended up with this really fiery fermented hot pepper sauce which both my wife and I love. It's definitely much hotter than the well known rooster sauce which I will make when I can get hold of an ample supply of red serrano and jalapeno peppers.

Preparation time: 20 minutes


Cooking time: 15 minutes


Resting time: 4 to 6 days


Total working time: 40 minutes


Total time needed: 4 days


Difficulty: easy


Produces about 700 ml / 23.7 oz

Ingredients for
fermented hot pepper sauce

  • 500 gram red bell peppers 
  • 2.5 red Habanero peppers
  • 130 gram red Serrano peppers
  • 7 gram red Cayenne peppers
  • 4 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. salt
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of white vinegar


  • Take of stems of the peppers and place them with seeds and all other ingredients except the vinegar into a food processor and blend into a smooth liquid paste.
Ingredients of fermented hot pepper sauce after being blended for the first timeIngredients of fermented hot pepper sauce after being blended for the first time
  • Pore it into a large jar with a lid and place it in a cool and dark place like a store- room or a cellar.
  • Stir the sauce once a day for 4 to 6 days
  • After 3 days or so the sauce should start to ferment and produce bubbles
  • Once the fermentation has begun you can proceed with the next steps to finish your hot pepper sauce. However I let the sauce ferment for at least 2 days though before I process it and prepare it for bottling.
  • To finish the sauce pour the fermented sauce into the food processor, add the white vinegar and blend it thoroughly (30 seconds should do)
  • If you want to process your hot pepper sauce without the seeds and remaining solid particles pour it through a strainer into a pot to separate the sauce from the seeds. This will take usually several minutes and will leave a beautiful deep red sauce.
  • However I don’t want to waste all the seeds and solid parts of my peppers and add the fermented sauce as it is from the food processor into a pot.
  • Place the pot on the stove and bring the hot pepper sauce to a gentle boil. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken a little or till it has reached your desired consistency. Stir it occasionally.
  • Finally take it of the stove and let it cool down before you bottle it. It should produce about 700 ml / 23.7 oz of potent hot pepper sauce.

Enjoy it as a marinade for meat, accompaniment for savory sandwiches, a dip or any dish you would like to give some extra spiciness South African style.

Ata Dindin

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