Easy Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce, as the name implies, is one of the simplest ferments to make. It requires only 4 ingredients, will be ready in a few days and you don’t need any fancy equipment. nada! You can use any hot pepper or mild peppers you like for this recipe. This method allows the hot sauce to develop complex flavors you can’t get in a traditional recipe.
This is the perfect recipe for a beginner. If you are just starting out or have never made a fermented food in your life this one is not complicated.
What is Lacto-fermentation?
Lacto-fermentation is the oldest form of food preservation in the world. It involves only salt, water and vegetables. The salt water brine creates an anaerobic environment (free of oxygen) where only lactobacillus bacteria can survive. The lactobacillus bacteria act as a preservative, keeping harmful bacteria from living in the ferment.
The article, “Lacto-fermentation – How It Works” written by Food Preservation Expert, Leda Meredith explains the stages as…
In stage one of lacto-fermentation, vegetables are submerged in a brine that is salty enough to kill off harmful bacteria. The Lactobacillus good guys survive this stage and begin stage two.
In stage two of lacto-fermentation, the Lactobacillus organisms begin converting lactose and other sugars present in the food into lactic acid. This creates an acidic environment that safely preserves the vegetables – and gives lacto-fermented foods their classic tangy flavor.
The result is a food that is loaded with probiotics and flavor. Eating probiotic foods like this strengthens your immune system, increases vitamin and mineral absorption and helps balance hormones.
Is lacto-fermentation safe?
Lacto-fermentation is safe if you follow recipes that use the correct salt to water ratios for the brine. My recipes are all tried and true so you don’t have to worry about them. The brine creates an environment where harmful bacteria can’t survive making the food safe and healthy for eating.
You must let it ferment enough to allow the stages as described above to happen. You can tell a ferment is safe to eat if it smells sour and pleasant. If it smells rancid, like broccoli or lettuce rotting in your fridge, then something went wrong and it should be thrown out.
What you’ll need
Making Easy Lacto-fermented Hot Sauce using this method is straight forward and requires no fancy equipment. You will need a small glass jar or container, purified water, high quality fine sea salt, garlic and peppers.
What to expect
For the first day or two the brine will be clear. About 3 days into fermentation the brine will get cloudy. This is a good thing. It means the lactic-acid bacteria are doing their job. It should smell a little sour, almost like pickles.
Once the brine is cloudy you can blend it all up, place it in a glass container and use it. You can store it in cold storage and let it ferment longer to develop the flavors more or in the refrigerator for several months.
- 1 cup of hot peppers chopped into rings (about 6 medium size peppers) - You can use any hot pepper you like or mix them up.
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup of purified water
- ½ tablespoon of fine celtic sea salt (any fine sea salt will do).
- Place the hot peppers and garlic cloves in a glass jar. A pint sized mason jar or similar works.
- Make the brine by heating up 1 cup of water and adding the salt.
- Stir the salt until dissolved and let the brine cool to room temperature.
- Once the brine has cooled pour it into the jar with the hot peppers and garlic.
- Cover loosely with a lid and set on the counter in a cool place away from direct sunlight for 2-3 days.
- Stir the brine each day or every two days to prevent mold from forming on the top.
- The brine should become cloudy in 2-3 days depending on the temperature of the room.
- Once it's cloudy and smells slightly sour, place it in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer it to a glass jar and store it in the refrigerator. It's ready to use.
- Lacto-Fermented hot sauce will store for several months.
If you want to make your own Fermented Hot Sauce we just added Fermented Hot Sauce Kits to our store here.
Some links on this page are affiliate links and they are all for companies that I support and buy from myself. If you decide to purchase any of these products through these links, I will earn a small commission and you will have my sincere thanks for supporting Fermented Food Lab.