6 Hot Sauces You Can Make Yourself
Homemade hot sauce in your bag, swag
Obviously we should all already be following the extremely good examples of Beyonce and Hillary Clinton, who are known for carrying hot sauce in their bags at all time. But maybe, just maybe, you can even do them one better: you can make hot sauce ourselves. (You know, throw a little Martha Stewart into that queenly mix.) Have you ever thought about making your own homemade hot sauce? It's not actually as hard as you might think. All homemade hot sauce requires is a little bit of time, some patience, and maybe a trip to your nearest international supermarket. (Or a quick search of Amazon.) Also, of course, a willingness to subject your tongue to the demands of some extremely hot chili peppers. But I'm presuming that if you clicked on a headline about making your own hot sauce, you are game. And I respect that.
The recipes below will take you on a fiery journey around the world, from the herby, zingy zhug of Israeli cuisine to the sunshine-y heat of bright and fruity habanero peppers in the West Indies-Style blend. I'm sure you'll want to add the homemade sriracha to everything, just like you do already, and impress literally everyone with pearls of hot sauce caviar... which might be even better than the real thing.
Can't wait to see the labels you come up with for your own personal brand of hot sauce.
"If you like chimichurri or Italian salsa verde, you’re bound to love zhug. Originally from Yemen and now one of the “national sauces” of Israel, zhug (pronounced skhoog) is a spicy, loose, herb-flecked sauce. Though bright and herbal from the cilantro, the sauce takes on richness and depth from ground spices—cumin, coriander, and cardamom. It would be fantastic drizzled over a whole-grain bowl featuring quinoa and chickpeas, served with falafel, or spooned over grilled fish, shrimp, beef, pork, or chicken," say our friends at CookingLight.com.
"Thick and creamy yet still smooth enough to drizzle, this homemade version of the ubiquitous Thai hot sauce embodies everything you love about the stuff in the green-capped squeeze bottle. It’s garlicky, spicy, tangy, lightly sweet, and just delicious. If you’re like us, you’ll want to eat it on everything—burgers, sandwiches, eggs, oven fries, hummus, rice and noodle dishes, meat loaf, and more. Do keep in mind that you should keep the chiles covered as they cook, as they put forth a powerfully fiery aroma. Plan to keep your vent hood going as you’re making this, too," sayeth CookingLight.com.
CookingLight.com loves this one: A super easy and relatively brief fermentation technique gives this hot sauce a briny, kimchi-like flavor. We only ferment the mixture for 2 to 3 days (many recipes go for a couple of weeks), then blend the combo of jalapeño, onion, garlic, and salted water until perfectly smooth. Deploy the sauce anywhere you’d use your favorite Louisiana-style hot sauce—drizzled onto eggs, tacos, sandwiches, roasted veggies, grilled steak, and more. For optimal flavor, look for the freshest, most unblemished jalapeños you can get.
"Traditional sambal oelek—a fiery sauce popular in Malaysia and Indonesia—contains sugar, but ours doesn’t. The result is pure, straightforward chile flavor that’s balanced by the soft acidity of rice wine vinegar. Red Fresno chiles may well be easiest to find; their heat is less pungent than jalapeño or serrano. Serve the slightly chunky sauce with Asian noodle bowls, rice dishes, pho or other noodle soups, or anywhere you want a jolt of flavorful heat," CookingLight.com tell us.
"This hot-hot-hot sauce is for real spice fiends," says CookingLight.com. "Habanero chiles pack a mighty punch, but there’s a deliciously bright, fruity flavor underneath the heat. The color of the sauce is a gorgeous sunny yellow, enhanced a bit by the addition of carrots. Use caution when blending the chile mixture, taking care not to breathe in the vapors. You won’t need much of this hot sauce to make a big impact on your food. Try stirring a little into a creamy dip for crudités or sour cream for fish tacos. Dab a little on a burger, or mix a hint into coleslaw to wake it up."
And here's an Extra Crispy original. "Caviar for breakfast is pretty much the ultimate indulgence. Unfortunately, spending that much money on a regular basis is not in the cards for most of us. Hot sauce, on the other hand, is loved by every living person on earth and is not expensive. But what does hot sauce have to do with caviar? Nothing—but also everything. With a little spherification, you can make caviar-shaped hot sauce spheres that will make your taste buds feel rich and fancy. Spherification is the process of encapsulating a liquid in a thin membrane that mimics the exciting pop that you would get from caviar. To achieve spherification, you’ll need some ingredients that you probably don’t have at home. Sodium alginate and calcium chloride will give you that coveted membrane, and sodium citrate will reduce the acidity of the hot sauce by acting as a buffer."
Much of this post originated at CookingLight.com.