Fermented Chilli sauce
Last weekend I started making fermented Chilli sauce with part of my harvest of Aji Habaneros and Bishops Crowns. The Chillies are now starting to ferment, and I am now starting to see carbon – dioxide bubbles floating up from the fermentation brine. It has taken about three days to reach this point. In another four to five days the sauces will be ready, and I will then blitz them into a Chilli sauce.
Fermentation is a great way to preserve Chillies, whether making a hot sauce or Chilli pickles. It is a method that has been used for thousands of years and was certainly being done before canning and bottling was invented.Recently, there has been renewed interest in this ancient form of preservation. This is because people have realised that the end- product tastes great and is also really healthy. What’s more, it’s easy to do
The basic principle behind fermentation is that you allow the Chillies to ferment in a brine solution of about five percent salt in water. The fermentation process results in acetic acid being produced which serves to preserve the Chillies but also give them a pleasant sour taste. Once they have been preserved in this way, they can be kept either whole in the brine or alternatively the brine gets drained and the Chillies then get blended into a sauce.
How to make the sauce
What is needed
This year I invested in some fermentation lids and glass weights for keeping the Chillies submerged in the brine during fermentation. It is essential to keep the Chillies submerged as it prevents mould forming during the fermentation process.
The fermentation lids have valves. These lids are screwed onto the jars. Once screwed onto the jars the valves allow carbon dioxide to escape but will not allow any oxygen back into the jar. Keeping oxygen out is what prevents mould from forming
To make fermented hot sauce followed the steps below:
I sterilised the jars by washing them in warm soapy water and then allowed them to air dry
I topped and tailed my ripe Chillies (about 900 grams). I then cut them in half lengthwise. I placed the Chillies three fermentation jars and added two cloves of garlic per jar. I made sure that once I had added the Chillies there would be enough heads-space to accommodate the glass weights and leave about twenty-five millimetres to the top of the jar.
I brought 4 cups of filtered water to the boil in a pot and added three tablespoons of salt to it. I stirred until the salt had been dissolved. I then allowed the brine to cool until it was just warm.
I poured the brine over the Chillies and weighed them down with glass weights. They were completely submerged in the brine
I sealed the jars and am keeping them at room temperature. As mentioned, fermentation began after about two days but has now become quite noticeable. Now it is just a matter of waiting until about next week this time, draining the brining liquid and then blitzing the Chillies into a Chilli sauce. Can’t wait.