About twelve years ago, I began adventures in fermentation. I became curious about the possibility of making a fermented sriracha. Store bought, unfermented options of the enticing sauce left me wanting more depth, complexity, and fewer ingredients than the bottled pepper and rooster sauces. One day I took a deep breath and mixed some roughly-chopped deep red bell peppers with equal weight in hot peppers, salt and a generous amount of garlic in a quart Mason jar with a fermentation lid, and observed eagerly for 10 days. On day 11, I blended the ferment into a smooth sauce. It still makes me smile. It was aesthetically beautiful, enticing and boldly delicious in its complexity. My recipe evolved a bit from this point, in ways that further its flavor profile.
I have always enjoyed foods that have a bit of attitude; that greet my palate and senses in surprisingly satisfying and intriguing ways. About the time I settled into the groove of my sriracha reaching its flavor profile peak, I began learning about water seal fermentation crocks. I was again curious about reported depth and complexity in ferments that were housed in these types of vessels due to the breathability of the clay. I also liked the idea of making a gallon at a time. I searched carefully. I wanted a vessel I would find welcoming to see every day and that had a feeling of earthy sacredness. I found Hadar’s stunning crocks and placed my order. This decision shifted in remarkable ways, my experience of both the process and the outcome. I delighted in the auditory cues of fermentation and attuned to the varying rhythms of bubbly pops marking the ebb and flow of this miraculous process. I accept the distinct possibility of my bias toward an elevated flavor outcome, influencing my experience. I also accept my experience of a deeper level of complexity, and the feedback from loved ones, that this latest endeavor was the best yet. As often as possible, I now use my water seal crock made by Hadar. I even bought a second one.
It is an honor for me to share my recipe for one gallon of sriracha. I encourage experimentation and hope for a delightful, satisfying outcome.
- Approximately 2 ½ pounds sweet, firm red sweet peppers of choice
- Approximately 2 ½ pounds cherry bomb or hot red peppers of choice
- 1 or2 large heads garlicpeeled
- 2 sweet apples of choices
- 2 tablespoons plus 2teaspoons fine sea salt
- Remove seeds and membrane of all or half of the hot peppers, depending on desired heat value.
- Remove white membranefrom any sweet peppers.
- Roughly chop (about ½ inchpieces) all the peppers, cleaned, seeded apple and garlic cloves. Or use a food processor to roughly chopall.
- Firmly pack half the ingredients into jar or crock and sprinkle with ½ of the salt. Pack the remaining ingredients into a vessel of choice and sprinkle the remaining salt on top.
- If using a crock, Follow the instructions for the water seal crock. If using a jar: Cover jar with fermentation lid, if using, or briefly burp every other day if using a regular airtight lid.
- Wait 10 to 14 days or up toa year, depending on room temperature, patience and desired flavor. Blend all contents in a blender until theyform a smooth sauce consistency. Enjoy!