As a lover of all things spicy, I've always been a fan of hot sauce. But there's something special about fermented hot sauce - the depth of flavor and complexity that comes from the fermentation process is unmatched. Plus, it's super easy to make at home!
Here's how to do it:
Step 1: Gather your ingredients. You'll need a pound of fresh chili peppers (I like a combination of habanero and jalapeno), 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. The recipe for Neck Dart has evolved quite a bit from here, but this is great starting point to experiment. You'll also want to get some spray sanitizer to keep any bacteria from contaminating your fermentation. Clean all your knives and other kitchen utensils thoroughly, and sanitize them as well. Highly diluted sanitizers that are safe to leave on work wonderfully.
Step 2: Prepare your peppers. Remove the stems and seeds from your peppers (unless you want extra heat, in which case you can leave some seeds in). Then chop them up into small pieces and place them in a blender or food processor.
Step 3: Blend the peppers with the garlic, salt, and vinegar. If you're using a blender, pulse the mixture until it's well combined and smooth. If you're using a food processor, pulse it until it's a chunky sauce. You can also choose to blend after the fermentation, and add your favorite cut fruit or vegetables here to see how they ferment.
Step 4: Transfer the sauce to a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure the jar is clean and sterilized before adding the sauce. When I first started learning how to make fermented sauce, I used 250ml glass jars. These didn't necessarily need a valve to allow excess CO2 to escape, but using fermenters or jars with a CO2 release is absolutely necessary for safety, generally speaking. You'll also want to use fermentation weights to keep the ingredients submerged, which helps ensure uniform fermentation as well as preventing unwanted molds from growing.
Step 5: Ferment the sauce. Place the jar in a warm, dark place (I like to use a pantry, but a closet works) and let it sit for at least a week. Check on the sauce every couple of days and if you have any questions about how things are going, feel free to drop us an email, we'll help. You'll want to look out for any mold building up. If you need to open the container to adjust the weights or clean the mold, make sure you sanitize everything that comes in contact with your fermentation, first.
Step 6: Taste and adjust the flavor. After a week, smell and taste the sauce to see if it's reached your desired level of flavor. If it's not quite there yet, let it sit for a few more days - or weeks. If it's too strong, add a little more vinegar to balance out the flavor.
Step 7: Enjoy! You can use it on anything from tacos to wings to eggs, or just add a few drops to your soups and stews for an extra kick of flavor.
Making fermented hot sauce may seem intimidating at first, but trust me, it's worth the effort. The end result is a delicious, flavorful sauce that'll make all your meals a little bit spicier and a lot more exciting. Happy fermenting, and pick up some Neck Dart to see what we've come up with.
Neck Dart Creator