Traditional recipes

Fresno Chile Hot Sauce

Fresno Chile Hot Sauce

This vinegary hot sauce will mellow with time; make it the day before for a little less spice.


  • ½ pound stemmed Fresno chiles (8–10)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook chiles and garlic in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until chiles turn bright red, about 2 minutes; drain. Blend chiles, garlic, and vinegar in a blender until almost smooth; season with salt. Let cool.

  • DO AHEAD: Hot sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

,Photos by Christopher Testani

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 15 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 3 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 2 Protein (g) 1 Sodium (mg) 0Reviews Section

Fermented Fresno Pepper Hot Sauce

Summer is here and that means a bounty of beautiful peppers at the farmers market. Or, if you garden, it might mean lots of bright peppers ripening up in your backyard.

This is the best time of the year because there are so many fruits and veggies in season – tomatoes, to cucumbers, corn and even peppers..

So many peppers!

This is especially true if you are growing peppers in your backyard garden and looking for a new way to use them up. Peppers are one of my favorite plants to grow and there are so many varieties.

This time of the year, I always go a little overboard trying to grow as many pepper varieties as I can. Then I struggle trying to use up the bounty and find myself making things that I can gift to friends and family. There’s only so many peppers one can take before they get all peppered out..

Fermented Fresno Pepper Hot Sauce

Anyone can make this hot sauce. It’s so easy to make, and it tastes delicious on everything.

One of the most important steps in making this hot sauce is allowing it to ferment. This process will help develop the flavors and also gives it a healthy boost of probiotics for your gut.

Start by adding the peppers, salt and water to the food processor – pulse until it’s a thick salsa. Transfer to a clean jar and cover with a cheesecloth or a piece of cotton fabric. Allow it to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours.

Then stir in the apple cider vinegar and allow it to ferment for 7-10 days, still covered with cheesecloth or a piece of cotton fabric.

(Feel free to go longer if you’d like – we’ve gone up to 3 weeks with ours.)

After that time, you should see the bubbles (ferment activity) start to slow down considerably. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Push the blended chile through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (make sure you wear gloves!) to remove the seeds and remaining pulp.

Transfer to a glass jar, swing top bottle or these hot sauce bottles if you are giving as gifts.

Before you go.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound red jalapeno peppers, stems cut off
  • ½ pound red serrano peppers, stems cut off
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar

Chop jalapeno and serrano peppers, retaining seeds and membranes, and place into a blender with garlic, brown sugar, salt, and water. Blend until smooth, pulsing several times to start.

Transfer puree into a large glass container such as a large jar or pitcher. Cover container with plastic wrap and place into a cool dark location for 3 to 5 days, stirring once a day. The mixture will begin to bubble and ferment. Scrape down the sides during each stirring. Rewrap after every stirring and return to a cool, dark place until mixture is bubbly.

Pour fermented mixture back into blender with vinegar blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan, pushing as much of the pulp as possible through the strainer into the sauce. Discard remaining pulp, seeds, and skin left in strainer.

Place saucepan on a burner and bring sauce to a boil, stirring often, until reduced to your desired thickness, 5 to 10 minutes. Skim foam if desired.

Remove saucepan from heat and let sauce cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken a little when cooled. Transfer sauce to jars or bottles and refrigerate.

Recipe: Chili Garlic Fermented Hot Sauce

Whenever we have a spare moment in the kitchen, you’ll find us experimenting with hot sauce. We love playing with new combinations of chili peppers, additions of fruit and spices, and fermentation times for deliciously spicy results.

We’ve made vibrantly yellow sauces, bottles of slow burning orange mixtures, and earthy green condiments. Our high-heat cravings simply cannot be ignored, so we often swing by the market for the express purpose of checking in on the chili pepper selection. After we fill our bags to the brim with a combination of cayenne, jalapeño, habanero, serrano, fresno and whatever else is available, we head home, put on some gloves and get to work turning our haul into hot sauce.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s always changing. We’ve tested it on all kinds of different combinations of peppers with super tasty (and hot!) results, so go with what’s freshest at the market and you’ll end up with a hot sauce that’s as unique as it is delicious.

A generous helping of garlic plus tons of diced peppers makes for a super well-rounded sauce that fills your whole palate with heat. It’s punchy with a delicious umami depth that enriches the flavor of your chosen peppers. Make this recipe your hot sauce go-to for a foolproof launching pad for all your high-heat kitchen projects.

Chile Vinegar Sauce

Home fermentation may seem scary, but it doesn't have to be. And the payoff—Michael Hung's better-than-Sriracha chile vinegar sauce—is totally worth it.

Here are some tips: The temperature in your kitchen will have a big effect on how quickly the vinegar ferments. Keep your chile vinegar in a clean area and be aware of the temperature daily. At 78 degrees, the fermentation will be done in three days. At 70 to 71 degrees it will take about four days, and anything lower than that five days.

Use smell as your guide—after a few days, you'll start to pick up a little ripeness or kimchi-esque funk, and that's how you know it's ready. But if the vinegar is bubbling, has a slimy texture or any visible mold, toss it—that's a bad batch.

Refrigerated, the vinegar will last a few months.

Note: If you can't find Fresno or dried California chiles, use fresh red Serranos instead. If doing so, reduce the total amount of chilies by one quarter and increase the red bell pepper by the same amount.

Fresno chilies were first cultivated in 1952 by Clarence Brown Hamlin, and he named the chili after Fresno, California. The Fresno is still widely grown in California.

Let&rsquos first say that any recipe that calls for a jalapeño or serrano pepper is fair game for a Fresno pepper. They are terrific in salsas, hot sauces, and ceviche, and they stuff decently well too. Pickled Fresno chilies are loved by many, and cutting them fresh into rings for sandwiches and burgers (like the jalapeño) is very popular too.

The more complex flavors of the red Fresno compared to the jalapeño has made this a chili loved by foodies and gourmet restaurants. It&rsquos a chili that&rsquos ripe for culinary experimentation.

Pickled Fresno Chile Vinegar

Recipe adapted from Daniel Holzman, The Meatball Shop, New York, NY

Yield: 3 cups

Prep Time: 5 weeks

Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: 5 weeks


½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, white distilled vinegar, divided

6 tablespoons salt, divided

8 ounces (7 each) Fresno chiles


1. In a plastic quart container, combine the boiling water, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Stir until dissolved and then let cool. Once cool, add the chiles and the garlic, and loosely cover with the lid, making sure the chiles are completely submerged. Let ferment at room temperature for 4 weeks.

2. Once fermented, drain the chiles and garlic, reserving ½ cup of the pickling liquid. Transfer the chiles, garlic and reserved pickling liquid to a blender with the remaining ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of salt. Blend until smooth. Return to the plastic container and seal. Let sit at room temperature for 1 week, shaking every day until homogenous.

A chili verde hot sauce to take your recipes to a new level

Have you tried making and canning your own hot sauces? It is so easy and fun! When you make your own, the sauce can be as hot or cool as you like, just about any color you like, and canned in amounts that match your consumption.

If you have a garden, access to a fine farmers’ market or CSA, you can have even more fun. Not all peppers are equal! Besides the difference in heat, peppers have different flavors and different colors. Find the ones you enjoy the most when cooked and plan to use them in your hot sauce.

When a hot sauce has FLAVOR in addition to heat, its uses expand exponentially. Add your hot sauce to homemade salad dressings and mayonnaise. Add it to sour cream, Greek yogurt, or kefir cheese. Use it as a topping for grains, beans, or baked potatoes. Add some sauce to your bean pot, soup pot, or tea pot. Think outside the box and you will begin to plan for a whole cabinet full of different hot sauces you have crafted.

The following recipe offers suggestions on ingredients and amounts. This recipe is for a single batch of sauce. Multiply by 4 or 5 and can it in small jars. Change the ratios of any of the ingredients and you will still get a tasty sauce. Just be careful about the hot peppers. Know your peppers. I like working with cubanelles and Fresno chilis because they are warm, not hot. They have great flavor. Using a quantity of these peppers adds heat, but also adds flavor. KNOW YOUR PEPPERS!

One insurance plan is to roast a few hot peppers while the sauce is cooking. If the finished sauce is not hot enough, throw in a roasted pepper or two. Or roast ALL the hot peppers called for below plus a few extras. Roasting adds another dimension to the flavor. It also adds another dirty pan to wash but if you have the time, give it a try.

I have grown Fresno peppers in my home garden several times over the years. They are very productive with lots of pods on the plants, and quite easy to grow. You can&rsquot grow wrong with a Fresno chili plant.

The thinner walls can be an issue if you want to use them as part of a mire poix or Cajun Holy Trinity, where you&rsquore just chopping them and cooking them. They still work, though. The flavor is definitely fruitier than a jalapeno.

As mentioned, I really enjoy them for making chili powder blends or for making either salsas or hot sauces. I definitely encourage you to give them a try.

Got any questions? Ask away! I&rsquom happy to help.

NOTE: This post was updated on 5/26/20 to include new information. It was originally published on 9/22/13.

Watch the video: Scharfe Sache: Chilipaste Mojo Rojo und die schnellste Mayonnaise der Welt (January 2022).