Photo by Rush Jagoe

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1 jar

    Fermented Chilis
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 pound red chilis (such as red jalapeño or cayenne), cleaned and seeded
  • Sauce*
  • Fermented red chilis
  • 3 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup reserved brine
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (4.5 grams)

Fermented Chilis

  1. Warm water and dissolve salt into it. Let cool. Place chilis in a large glass jar. Pour the brine over just to cover. Place the remaining brine in a zipper-lock bag. 
  2. Lay the bag on top of chilis to keep them submerged while they ferment. Cover jar with plastic wrap and a rubber band around the rim. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap. Allow the fermentation to take place at 70–74 degrees for 3 weeks. At this point the brine will be cloudy and the peppers will have a strong aroma. Store brine at 35 degrees.


  1. In a blender, cover fermented chilis with distilled vinegar and reserved brine. Blend on high for 2 minutes and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container. You may need to do two batches depending on the blender size. 
  2. Once strained, return sauce to blender and add xanthan gum. Blend on high for 30 seconds. The pepper sauce should thicken slightly. Adjust the viscosity with vinegar or brine if desired.

*Note: You should wear rubber gloves while making the sauce.


  • from Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery, New Orleans, LA

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