Jump to content

Recipes for Chilli Sauces Please!!!

Recommended Posts

Glad to see all this hot sauce fermenting!

To be clear, I never claimed that Kahm yeast is dangerous. No one should be afraid of Kahm yeast, nor should they discard a batch where it appears. I claimed that I can taste the difference, and I prefer ferments where there is no visible Kahm yeast.

This could be a coincidence: No Kahm yeast could be a side effect of the technique that lead to my best ferments, not a determining cause. Still, I've tossed too many ferments of cabbage and such, recognizing I can do better buying at the farmers market, to shake this association.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So...here is the result of my latest chilli experiment.  We visited my cousin in NYC earlier in the year.  He introduced me to a beautiful chilli oil called Akabanga from Rwanda.  I fell in love instantly.  It comes in a 20ml bottle with a dropper and  you apply 4-5 drops to your food.  No more.  It's hot but not too hot.  Delicious.  Given I was growing a lot of chillis myself I figured I really ought to figure out how to make it.  

The only clue that I could find to how it was made was on this website: https://www.afrolink.co.uk/product-page/akabanga-chilli-oil-product-of-rwanda.  It says   The recipe consists of 80 percent yellow chilli pepper (scotch bonnet) extract and 20 percent olive oil. Hmm, how do you get an extract of chilli peppers?  I found this site that explained how to extract pure capsaicin from chillis: https://italianchilli.com/en/content/22-how-to-extract-pure-capsaicin-from-chillies

Yes, I know that capsaicin is murderously potent and has to be treated with respect but I could not resist the challenge.  

Started with some 95 proof alcohol that we bought in Italy in order to make limoncello.  (Drop all your preconceptions, home made limoncello using Amalfi lemons is a revelation.)


Per the recipe, I whizzed a load of chillies, mixed them in with the alcohol and let stand for three days.  I then strained through a 250 micron and then 50 micron bag.



They said to wait for the alcohol to evaporate.  I soon realised that was going to take too long.  I consulted some websites and found one that explained how to evaporate alcohol from tinctures of cannabis.  Simple solution.  I put the bowl in my water bath and heated the water up to 81C, just above the boiling temperature for alcohol. Here it is, starting to coagulate as the temperature rose. 


I now have this sticky residue. It is hard to believe that this is the fearsome capsaicin.  It smells lovely and sweet, not hot at all.  That said, I stuck a toothpick in and tasted the liquid off the end of the toothpick.  It was very hot.  Not to be messed with.  I am planning to dissolve this extract in oil (1:15 is the only measure I have been able to find online so far) and then dispense it from little 15 ml bottles with a pipette.  To build the flavour profile I'll use extra virgin olive oil flavoured by slow cooking onions, garlic and peppers in it this morning.  


All of that said, there is no way that a factory in a village in Rwanda went to these lengths to make chilli oil!  This lady from Cameroon has a much more down to earth method which I will try with my next harvest of chillis.



  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first thought watching this video was why in the heck is she taking all that time to poke holes in the peppers, just cut them in half and expose more surface area? It gets strained out at the end anyway, so any loose seeds will be captured, and you'll get more extraction. 

@tekobo I'd stick with your alcohol extraction method. If you have the sous vide machine, it's not that much actual work, just a bit more time consuming. I'm guessing that you're getting a much stronger oil than the lady in the video.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, tony b said:

I'm guessing that you're getting a much stronger oil than the lady in the video.

I suspect capsaicin is way hotter than anything that I need in my life under normal circs.  It was fun to try this but I found it difficult to mix with the oil - had to reheat in the water bath and found that it fell out of suspension afterwards.  The oil I put in has a nice gentle heat, with the goo of the majority of the capsaicin sitting at the bottom of the bottle.  Will keep playing...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/20/2022 at 4:15 PM, tony b said:

Just the homegrown peppers, some garlic, a dash of seasoning salt and Xanthan gum. 

Yipppee!  I made started three batches of Scotch bonnet ferments in early April and tried the first batch last week.  At first I was worried that the heat would knock my head off but with the judicious addition of some sushi vinegar it mellowed out and is joyously addictive.  I want to try different additives and wondered what others have tried with success.  When you add garlic @tony b  is it just whizzed in raw with the ferment?  Any other interesting flavours?  I tried balsamic vinegar but that wasn't as good as the sushi vinegar.  Thinking I might riff on the latter with some straight mirin.  I also tried with soy tonight but I think I put a bit too much in.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woo, hoo, way to go,  @tekobo!

I've only experimented with various vinegars myself.  I typically stick with rice vinegar, as it doesn't have a strong flavor on its own, like apple cider vinegar does. White balsamic is a nice one. 

Fruits can work well in sauce, like mango, pineapple or raspberries. Tomatoes or carrots can work, too.

Spices can push the sauce in many directions. Southwest/Mexican (chili powder and cumin). Middle Eastern (ras El hanout, berebere) Indian  with all the different curries. Asian with ginger , fish sauce (?), miso.

You have a base sauce that you can experiment with, so have some fun with it and find what you like. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks @tony b.  I will set some time aside this weekend to try a few variants.  In the past I thought that keeping the mash going for longer was the way to go but now realise that 6-8 weeks is long enough for a mighty fine tasting sauce.  I am looking forward to this year's crop of chillis. It will be interesting to explore the different flavours that different chillis deliver in a sauce. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/14/2018 at 10:57 AM, tony b said:

I do fermented style sauces, ala Tabasco.

It's been a few years, but I've made many batches of fermented Tabasco-style hot sauce over the years.

Like many of us, I have a chamber vacuum machine. The signature uses of sous vide and freezer preservation easily justify a machine. Nevertheless, we should all take inspiration from those "what goes in a blender?" YouTube videos.

What goes in a chamber vacuum machine?

  • A couple of sixty second sessions will hydrate any dough better than a long rest. This has an extraordinary effect on pasta dough.
  • A quick refrigerator pickle such as a Mexican Cauliflower and Jalapeño Escabeche (Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral has the best recipe I've seen) benefits from vacuum packing and a rest.
  • Some people ferment chiles for hot sauce by vacuum packing the peppers with a starter, in a large pouch with room for the gases.

The challenge in fermenting chiles is getting white cloudy Kahm Yeast. While it isn't harmful, it's gross, and in my opinion it affects the flavor. The fermenting world is full of people who've never figured out how to avoid Kahm yeast, who consider worrying about it a silly concern. I usually don't get Kahm yeast, but I consider myself an abject failure of a human being when I do.

The hope is that removing oxygen by chamber vacuum sealing the chiles will prevent Kahm Yeast.

I also have an argon tank, for saving part bottles of wine, and I intend to experiment with displacing the air in a carboy, as an alternate approach.

I adjust pH to below the botulism threshold whatever I do, measuring with a professional pH meter. You can get banned from a fermentation forum by suggesting such a thing, but it brings me peace of mind.

Many botulism deaths are the result of ill-advised experiments that break with long understood tradition, such as Alaskan natives fermenting meats in a plastic pail rather than in the traditional sealskin. One should recognize that any novel approach to fermenting hot sauce poses similar questions.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...