WARNING! This seriously Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce is not for the faint hearted! Get past the heat though & you will find that it has a depth of flavour that a lot of hot sauces don’t. It has plenty of zing, a bit of tang & hints of sweet red pepper & maple. Are you brave enough?
It is International Hot & Spicy Food Day tomorrow and here is my contribution. I don’t go by half measures. This Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce is HOT.
I am a massive spicy food fan. I use a lot of hot sauce but the one I like most from my local farmer’s market is nearly $9 a bottle. It is delicious but with the rate we go through it, I decided that it was time to come up with my own version and I couldn’t have timed it better.
My first few attempts didn’t go too well. They were far too hot. Incredibly and inedibly hot. My lips and tongue were numb for hours after trying them and I couldn’t find anyone brave enough to stand in for me as taste tester. I had to carry on my mission alone. It was a difficult process as obviously hot sauce needs to be hot but not so hot that it burns the top layer off your tongue!
The heat of chilli peppers or products derived from chilli peppers, is measured with the Scoville Heat Scale. The scale is named after William Scoville who developed the test in 1912 and works by measuring the level of the chemical compound capsaicin. Until recently, extract from the pepper was continually diluted until it was no longer detectable to the people tasting it. The final amount of dilution gave the pepper its measure on the Scoville scale. Now a more modern method of measuring the heat is utilized and this is called high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Peppers are dried then ground up then water is filtered through. A machine is then use to measure the heat. This method is of course much more accurate than relying on human taste buds. I love this humorous article written by Anna Maria Barry-Jester called “Rating Chili Peppers On A Scale Of 1 To Oh Dear God I’m On Fire“. It goes into a lot more depth about the whole subject and is a good read.
Habaneros, as used in my Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce, have a Scoville rating of between 100,000 – 350,000. They are up there with the wonderful Scotch Bonnets which are another of my favourites. Compare this to the very popular Jalapeño pepper which has a Scoville rating of only 3,500-8,000. A significant difference, but although very hot, this Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce has a great depth of flavour. It’s not all about the heat. You get the fiery heat first, then a sharp tang from the vinegar, combined with hints of sweet red pepper and maple. It will make the perfect addition to your dinner table.
If you like a bit of spice in your life then you need to try this Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce recipe soon! It is so incredibly cheap to make and lasts in the fridge for ages and ages. You can use it in so many ways. My favourite way to eat it is drizzled on avocado toast. I also love it with rice dishes like my Easy Savoury Rice, or Buddha Bowl, with stir frys, in salad dressings, swirled into soups, in hummus or guacamole and with crispy tofu. It also makes a fabulous gift for that hot sauce lover in your life.
Give it a try soon and as always, let me know what you think in the comments section below. Share your pictures on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter too (I am @avirtualvegan). I love to see what you’ve been making!
Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon oil , any neutral tasting oil
- 6 habanero peppers
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 120mls | 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 medium onion chopped roughly
- 2 fat cloves of garlic chopped roughly
- 180mls | 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Remove the seeds from the bell peppers and chop into chunks.
- Cut the habeneros in half and remove the seeds
- Over a medium heat sauté the onions and bell peppers for a few minutes until beginning to soften, then add the habeneros and garlic and sauté for a little while longer until soft and slightly caramelized. Make sure you have a window or door open and an extractor fan on if you have one, to ventilate your kitchen. When the habaneros start cooking you will get chili pepper fumes which might make you cough a bit or make your eyes smart.
- Turn off the heat and transfer to a blender.
Add the remaining ingredients to the blender, adding just enough water to get it to the thickness you like.
- Blend until completely smooth.
- If you do not have a high powered blender you may find some pieces of pepper skin floating about. If these bother you then just strain the sauce through a sieve.
- Decant into bottles or jars and store in the fridge. I didn't bother sterilizing my jars/bottles as I know I use my hot sauce quite quickly. If you want it to keep for a long time then it would probably be wise to sterilize your jars first. It should then keep well for a few months.
The amount of water you add is totally up to you. More water and you will get a thinner sauce, less water and your sauce will be thicker. If you add the amount of water exactly as specified the sauce will be quite thin, like Frank's Hot Sauce kind of thickness.