homemade sriracha sauce recipe (raw + fermented)

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented

There’s no denying I like things hot when it comes to food. I’ve long been a fan of chillies, but sadly back in my younger years it was only ever in the form of sweet chilli sauce or as Si’s always liked to call it ‘that chilli crap’. (Charming, I know. Obviously he’s never been a fan!). It wasn’t really until I met Si and his family that I even started cooking with fresh chillies at home on a regular basis, I admit it just seemed easier to have a bottle of the sweet stuff at hand to add that final burst of life to my cooking. I still remember one of the first meals I ever ate with my mother-in-law, I must have looked like a real dork, starring in shock as she sat at the table with her little pile of red-hot chillies, casually taking a nibble every few mouthfuls or so. My chilli loving tendencies instantly looked pathetic in comparison.

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented
homemade sriracha (raw + fermented

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented

As my love for real chillies grew, I started to rely less and less on the bottled ‘crap’ and instead planted a couple of chilli plants out in our veggie garden (this was back when we still lived in NZ, nowadays I grow them in pots). I learnt to know which chillies I could handle, and which ones knocked my socks off (and brought tears to my eyes!). As Si is not a huge chilli fan and the kids only like teeny little hints of it, I adopted my mother-in-laws easy way to preserve them for later use- chuck them in the freezer in a bag and use straight from frozen. This means I always have ‘fresh’ chillies at hand, even in the depths of winter when the plants die off (partially here in Australia, or completely back home in NZ, thanks to the frosts). I’d say I eat at least 2 chillies everyday and can now say with pride, that my tolerance to the heat has improved a huge amount! Dare I say my mother-in-law might even be proud to now see me munch on the teeny (and super hot) birds eye chillies that we grow, just like she does.

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented

It’s been a good few years since I last bought sweet chilli sauce and while I have bought the odd bottle of Sriracha, I’ve never got into it in a big way (even though I love it!) after reading the ingredients list. When I saw this photo on instagram recently (from one of my favourite instagram discoveries!) of Shu’s homemade Sriracha, it gave me the push I needed to finally try my hand at making it for myself too. And I gotta say, I’ll be making sure there’s always a bottle of this stuff in the fridge from now on. It’s beyond good.

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented
homemade sriracha (raw + fermented

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented
homemade sriracha (raw + fermented

I couldn’t help but tinker with the recipe a little- I halved it as I knew it would only be me eating it, I also used a couple of different ingredients and skipped the last step of reducing the sauce so I could keep all the fermented goodness alive. The end result is a tangy, hot but not in a tear-jerking way, flavour-packed chilli sauce that will keep me happy for months, or weeks, if I keep up with the rate I’m currently consuming it!

homemade sriracha (raw + fermented)

homemade sriracha sauce (raw + fermented)
The chillies in the photo directly above are our home grown super hot Birds Eye chillies, which I didn’t actually use in this recipe. Use what we simply call ‘Long red chillies’ here in Australia and New Zealand, or Jalapeno/Serrano for those of you in the U.S. 
Makes 250ml 

15 long red chillies (I used Thai, but Serrano or Jalapeno would work too) (approx 300g)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons raw unrefined sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar

Remove the tips from the chillies and roughly chop them up. Place into a small food processor, along with the garlic, sugar, salt and water and blend until a fine paste forms. Transfer mixture to a clean glass jar, screw the lid on loosely and leave in a warm place out of direct sunlight, for 3-5 days (3 if you live somewhere hot, like Perth. 5 if it’s cooler where you live). After 3-5 days you will notice little pockets of air in the mixture, this is what you are after. Transfer mixture to a blender, along with the vinegar and blend to a smooth paste. Pass through a sieve (set over a bowl), and do your best to extract as much of the liquid as you can using the back of a metal spoon. Discard the solids and pour the chilli sauce into a clean glass jar. Refrigerate and use within a few months. I really like the consistency of this raw, but you can also reduce the sauce in a saucepan until the desired consistency is achieved if you prefer (but just know that some of the good enzymes you have created during the fermentation will be destroyed).

Adapted from this recipe, which in turn was adapted from this...

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    January 28, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I am so impressed that you made your own! We go through soooo much of this stuff – I can't wait to try!

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 5:00 am

      You'll love it! xx

  • Sneh | Cook Republic
    January 28, 2014 at 12:43 am

    I adore Sriracha! I go through one big bottle a month (yikes!). Yours looks so vibrant and lovely! x

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 5:00 am

      Wow, and here I was thinking my chilli sauce addiction was bad… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sash
    January 28, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Yes! I have an over abundant chilli plant and this is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking to make. Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, I have no idea what my chillies are. they are small and HOT. I like spicy food and I can only just handle one measly tiny little one in my meal… I assume they'll work fine?

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 4:59 am

      I'd say yours are birds eye chillies like ours, so I'm not sure if you'd want to try this sauce using them? I wasn't even brave enough to do that, and instead got some long red (milder) chillies from the markets. But, saying that… if you do try it with them I'd remove all the seeds from them before blending and just expect to only be able to use a few teeny drops of the end product at a time, more like a tabasco-style thing. Which wouldn't really be so bad really?! xx

  • Blue Apocalypse
    January 28, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Your homemade sriracha looks and sounds great, I still buy all my chilly sauces but I really should start making my own!

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 4:55 am

      It was crazy how easy it was to make, 10 minutes prep and a few days wait. So worth it xx

  • Shu Han
    January 28, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Hurrah and thank you! Nicely done! Shall try your take on it for my next batch myself. x

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Thanks Shu for the motivation I needed to finally make my own! xx

  • Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas
    January 28, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Thanks for this. My chilli bush is loaded at the moment and I know they are all going to ripen at once. I also didn't really think of freezing them so that is where my excess is going from now on.

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Freezing them is a awesome little trick. My freezer door is always full of them!

  • Anonymous
    January 28, 2014 at 8:42 am

    This looks fab! Any special dishes that you use it in?

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 9:35 am

      I basically put it on everything I eat, bar porridge ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • london bakes
    January 28, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I didn't realise that it was so easy to make at home! I'm a much bigger fan of heat than my boyfriend is so I love the idea of just being able to add a sprinkle of sauce to my food to lift it and leave his in peace ; ) Stunning pictures too love!

    • emma
      January 28, 2014 at 9:36 am

      That's exactly why I love having chilli sauce at hand, it's awesome being able to add to my own meals and not the kids/Si's ๐Ÿ™‚

  • theresnofood
    January 28, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Oh fantastic! Thanks so much for this recipe. My friend loves sriracha sauce and this will be the perfect gift for his birthday in February ๐Ÿ™‚ ps beautiful photos

  • thelittleloaf
    January 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I've been making Gwyneth Paltrow's homemade sriracha for a while now – so delicious and the perfect pick me up to most meals. This looks like a lovely recipe too and your photos are just stunning. My hubby adores chilli so we always some sort of sauce on the go ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lan | MoreStomach
    January 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    i'm a fan of hot sauce, when the sriracha factory was shut down some months ago due to the town complaining about the odor, i admit to going out and buying 3 big bottles to keep in the pantry. our csa had habaneros or scotch bonnets and we couldn't consume them as is and didn't want them to go bad, we did a similar concoction and just a little goes a long way! it's nice to give add a tiny amount to stews for that extra kick.

    ps. the image of your mil having a pile of chilis to eat with her meal reminds me so of my own elders doing that!

  • Irina @ wandercrush
    January 28, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Ah I immediately thought of Shu's post when I saw this recipe! Now that you've both done it, maybe this is the final push for some spicy fermentation in my own kitchenโ€ฆwell done, and it's great to see your variations alongside hers!

  • molly yeh
    January 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    this looks awesome! i am so with you about all of the crazy ingredients in store bought sriracha.

  • erin @ yummy supper
    January 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Emma, I need to make this now! With the exception of my little girl, we are huge fans of spice in my house and I do love sriracha. But your homemade variety – with chillies from your garden no less – must take it to a whole new level.

  • Catherine @ chocolate and vegetables
    January 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Homemade hot sauce has been on my "to-do" list for a while–like some others have posted, our household has mixed heat preferences so we can go through a lot of hot sauce sometimes!

  • Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator
    January 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Fantastic recipe and photos, and I will be making a low-sodium version for my upcoming condiments e-book. (And will credit you of course.)

  • InTolerant Chef
    January 28, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I've got 4 chilli plants in the garden and I freeze or dry the extras, thanks for giving me such a fantastic other option! Littlej loves chilli sauce so much that she gets a big bottle of her favourite one in her Christmas stocking every year, maybe this will be her new favourite now ๐Ÿ™‚ xox

  • Robyn B | Modern Day Missus
    January 29, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Awesome! We have all these chillis (all different kinds) growing in our garden. Usually we dry them, but then hardly use them. I love this idea!

  • Shelly West
    January 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    This is the first 'fermented' chili recipe I've seen and am so intrigued to try it out! It's far too cold in the US right now for this but can't wait to try it in the heat of this coming summer!

  • Laura
    January 30, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    We always have so many chilies at the end of summer–mostly the long red ones and little cherry hots, so I'm very excited to use your tip and freeze them in little slices. I'm gonna feel like such a little smarty pants. Oh and, we love sriracha too, but yeah, that ingredient list is kind of blech. Can't wait to try yours.

  • Dennis
    March 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Can you use the solids in the sauce instead of discarding them?

    • emma
      March 19, 2014 at 1:49 am

      I don't see why you couldn't leave them in, it would be more like a sambal than a sauce though.

  • Azura Pereira
    April 2, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Do you think I could leave the garlic out? It tends to make me sick when its raw, however I don't think I've had it fermented. Also is coconut sugar fine?

    • emma
      April 3, 2014 at 5:59 am

      I'm sure leaving the garlic out would be totally fine, as would using coconut sugar xx

  • Anonymous
    April 26, 2014 at 6:56 am

    what if in my excitement I added the cider vinegar with the chillis at the start and blended. Do I have to throw it away and start again or could it be salvaged?

    • emma
      April 29, 2014 at 6:19 am

      I'm only just catching up on comments etc after my trip to NZ, so sorry for the late reply! I've not done that before so I can't really say, but I think you'd be fine. I'd at least give it a go still, and then chuck out after the fermentation process if it hasn't worked. I hate wasting food ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous
    May 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Great recipe!
    Simply and wonderfull.
    Sriracha is done!

  • Enlightenment
    March 22, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I love the โ€˜rawnessโ€™ of your recipe. Most recipes include boiling the chilli mash in vinegar after the fermentation stage. I assume that boiling will change the favour but preserve the product longer. However many fermented products donโ€™t require boiling since they are โ€˜cookedโ€™ by the fermentation process. Any thoughts on this?

    • emma
      March 23, 2015 at 2:59 am

      You can totally go the boiling route with this recipe too if you like, the flavour doesn't change much but the end result will be slightly thicker in texture. I leave mine raw though to keep all the good benificial bacteria present (which would be killed by heat). From my experiments heating it doesn't make it last any longer. I've kept this raw version in the fridge for months and it's totally fine. Hope that helps a little? xx

  • croydonfoodswap
    April 27, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Thanks for a great healthy recipe! Really useful when the chillies all ripen at the same time ๐Ÿ™‚

    Do you have any issues with mould on top after leaving it for 5 days? Will stirring help every couple of days help to prevent that?

    • emma
      April 28, 2015 at 11:54 am

      I've not had any issues with mould on the top, however if you're concerned, make sure you push the mixture down at least once a day to ensure the liquid covers the top. xx

  • adina
    October 17, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I'm so happy to have found this recipe, sriracha is so rare and expensive around here. I have never thought to make my own , I will now.

  • jillian wh
    November 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Awesome!!! I've been trying to find a good recipe for sriracha but was a little weary about the fermentation process. I used about 2.5 times the amount of garlic per weight of chillies because I love the flavor. I also used red fresno peppers, red jalapenos, red habaneros, and red trinidad scorpion peppers because I haven't found a hot sauce that is too hot for me… some of the capsaicin extract added sauces can be quite spicy though. My only complaint about sriracha sauce is it needs a lot more heat. I can't thank you enough for sharing this so I can make my own as spicy as I want it!!!!

  • wolvesrampant
    December 13, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Don't discard those solids! If you let them soak in vodka for at least a few weeks and then strain them you end up with a lovely Sriracha flavored vodka that can be added to pasta sauce or anything else that needs a kick. My favorite use is in spicy Bloody Marys.