asian style cayenne hot sauce

Asian-Style Cayenne Hot Sauce

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This year we used about a pound of LC Cayenne pods to cook up a sweet and spicy Thai sauce. Unlike “Louisiana Style” hot sauce, this one is thick, almost like ketchup, and is a lot less vinegary. It is great with grilled shrimp, over rice, for Asian cooking, and even as a dip.

Read Harald Zoschke’s entire article on the Burn! Blog here.


1 pound red, ripe NuMex Las Cruces Cayenne chiles (or similar meaty cayenne peppers)
1/2 sweet red pepper (e.g. Gypsy or a small ripe bell pepper)
1 medium-sized onion, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound sugar
4 ounces rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

2 ounces rice vinegar **
1 ounce maple syrup **
water (if necessary)  **

4-5 empty hot sauce bottles

** These ingredients are to be added after cooking and blending.


Rinse the cayenne peppers, cut off the tops with the stems, and slit pods open lengthwise, discarding most but not all seeds. Cut pods into chunks. Also remove the stem and “innards” of the sweet pepper and cut the pod into chunks as well.

In a sauce pan sauté the onion in the oil until soft (2-3 minutes).

Add the garlic and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

Add sugar and the 4 ounces of vinegar, stir well and bring to a boil.

Add chopped cayenne and sweet peppers, stir well and simmer over medium heat for about 45 minutes, until the peppers are soft.

Meanwhile, sterilize your hot sauce bottles in boiling water and let them drain upside down on a towel.

Blend the sauce in a blender, or in the sauce pan using a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. Using a whisk, blend in the maple syrup and the 2 ounces of vinegar. ***

The sauce should be smooth and thick now, with a consistency almost like ketchup. If the sauce appears to be too thick, carefully add a little water and whisk again. Bring sauce briefly to a boil again.

Using a funnel, fill the bottles with sauce and put on lids immediately.

Design a label and put it on your bottles. Enjoy! Store opened bottles in the refrigerator. Yield: about 20 oz. (i.e. four “Woozy” type 5oz./148 ml bottles). I bet now you’re glad you kept those emptied hot sauce bottles!

*** Since vinegar tends to lose acidity during cooking, we add some of it at the end. That way we’re getting a lower pH (= higher acidity), which is necessary for preservation. If you would produce such a sauce commercially, you would check the pH with a meter and keep it well below pH 4.2).

Louisiana-style Hot Sauce

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This sauce is seriously hot! Recipe by Mike Stines, Ph.B.


1/2 cup diced habanero and birdseye chiles
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt


Rinse the chiles under cold water to remove any dirt and pat dry. Cut the stems off of the chilis and finely dice (remove seeds if desired). Place the chiles and vinegar in a two-quart non-aluminum saucepan. Add the salt and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the chiles for five minutes. Transfer the liquid to a food processor and blend until smooth. (Be careful not to inhale the fumes during processing!)

Pour the sauce into a sterilized bottle and refrigerate for at least three weeks, inverting and shaking every few days, to develop its full flavor. (If refrigerated, this sauce will keep for about three months.)

Zhug (Yemenite Hot Sauce)

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Popular with the Yemenite Jews in Israel and in the Middle East, this 
hot sauce starts with a paste of garlic and peppers plus whatever spices
the individual cook chooses, along with cilantro and/or parsley. There
are two versions, this green one and a red one that uses red sweet and
hot peppers. Tomatoes are sometimes added to tone down the sauce, which
can be quite spicy. This quick and easy sauce serves as a table
condiment, as a sauce for grilled fish or meat or for eggs, or can be
added to soups and stews just before serving. It goes especially well
with lamb kabobs.


8 serrano chiles, stems removed (or substitute jalapeño chiles)
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice, preferably fresh
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste


Place the chiles, garlic, caraway, cumin, cardamom, pepper, cloves, and 
lemon juice in a blender or food processor and puree to a smooth paste,
adding some of the oil if necessary.
Add the cilantro and parsley, and while the machine is running slowly,
add the oil until a “soupy” sauce is formed. Season with salt.

Piment Limón (Citrus Hot Sauce)

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Here is my version of the classic hot sauce of Rórigues Island in the 
Mascarenes. It is very thick, so feel free to thin with more water if
you want. You’d think that this sauce might be sour, but it’s not–the
sugar in the red chiles seems to temper the tart lemons. Any fresh red
chiles can be used, and you can adjust the heat level to your liking.
The yield is high here, but the color is so beautiful that you should
put the excess in decorative bottles as gifts for your friends. It will
keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. Serve it over fish or other


6 cups water
10 lemons, thickly sliced, seeds removed (or substitute limes for a
different color)
8 to 10 red jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, halved
1/4 cup vegetable oil


Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the lemon slices 
and boil for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the water.
Place the jalapeños in a blender and add the oil. Puree to make a thick
paste. Add the lemon slices, a few at a time, along with 3 cups of the
reserved water, a half cup at a time. You may have to do this in batches
in you don’t have a large blender. Puree to a thick sauce. Pour into
bottles and label.

Môlho de Piri Piri (Portuguese Hot Sauce)

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Early in the sixteenth century, chiles were transferred from Portuguese 
Brazil to their colony of Angola. These small, piquin-like chiles (which
were probably Brazilian malaguetas) were called piri-piri
(pepper-pepper) and became an integral part of the local cuisine. The
sauce made from them was transferred back to Portugual, where it is a
staple on dining tables--served with seafood, soups, and stews. Since
the piri-piri chiles are not usually available, use chiles de árbol,
cayenne chiles, chile piquins, or chiltepíns. Note: This recipe requires
advance preparation.


1/2 cup chopped dried red chiles, seeds and stems removed
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt


Combine all ingredients in a shaker jar. Cover, shake well, and store at
room temperature for 24 hours. Shake well before each use. To make a
smooth sauce, blend this mixture in a food processor and thin slightly
with water or cider vinegar.