Recipe: Fermented pepper hot sauce
Youll need a wide mouth glass weight and pickling top, available at many houseware stores. Masontops is the brand I use. Youll also need a nut milk bag. Wear latex or rubber gloves whenever handling the peppers.
650 grams of chopped (or use a food processor) peppers. I use jalapeños and/or serranos.
50 grams of chopped garlic.
17.5 grams of kosher or pickling (non-iodized) salt (2.5% by weight. If you use more or less weight of peppers, use this percentage of salt.) Ive found this amount mostly fills a quart canning jar and leaves enough head space for the gas to escape through the pickle top vent.
Mix well together in a bowl and pound with a potato masher for a while to work the salt into the pepper.
Put into a wide mouth quart canning jar, press the weight down to compress the mixture, put on the pickling top, put it somewhere at room temperature out of direct sunlight. In a day or so, the salt should have drawn the juice out of the peppers to make enough brine to cover the mixture. Thin walled peppers like habaneros may need water (not chlorinated tap water) added. If so, weigh the water first and add 2.5% by weight of salt.
Wait three weeks (or longer). Dump it all into a blender, add enough white vinegar (about 1/2 cup) to make the mixture blend to purée consistency. Pour it all into the nut milk bag over a bowl. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of mixture. Youll have a small lump of seeds and skins left in the bag.
You should have about 2/3 quart of liquid. To get it to a consistency that will still pour but be thick enough to stay on food, add two 6 oz. cans of tomato paste and mix thoroughly. The tomato paste cuts the heat a little and adds a bit of sweetness. Store in the refrigerator. The vinegar and salt and the acidic brine act as preservatives.
Kimchi, dill pickles, etc. Id rather make my own. Ive got the raw materials and the time. Theyre better and unprocessed so full of probiotics.
My wife ferments and pickles all manner of things, usually with delightful results.
Making something at home just adds to the relish of eating.