I just tried my first batch of sauerkraut that was started in october. It tastes like sauerkraut (although not as strong as i'd like yet) So I would call that a success! For my next project I want to try a lacto fermented hot sauce, I have heard that tobasco, and sriracha are both fermented type hot sauces, and I have found a few simple recipes online. I am wondering if anyone here has tried to make some before. I am also looking for suggestions on what peppers to use. At this point in time it has to be something easily obtainable at a grocery store because way back in the spring I had no plans to make hot sauce, ergo, I planted no hot peppers. I want a pepper that is hot but still has a lot of flavor to it. Any experiences are appreciated!
I have been making some sauce and folks say they like it. I cut up any and all peppers, hot and sweet, into inchish chunks, and add some whole garlic cloves along with other whole spices. I cover them with a light brine and let em rip. After fermenting I chop them in the blender, reserving excess brine and using it for salad dressings and added salt to whatever. I like to chop after, as it is easier to keep large chunks under the brine while fermenting. I refrigerate them unchopped indefinitely, and haven't seen any problems with doing so. It tastes more like garlic pickles than chili garlic sauce, but it is a great way to get one's probiotics as it usually isn't cooked, but added as a topping.
I have been trying to find out if fermenting reduces solanine levels, but all I can find online is a reference to fermented pig silage made from potatoes, and it says that the solanine levels are reduced.
Thanks for the response! I was wondering why some recipes have you cut everything up before and some after. It makes sense to me that the real reason to cut it up less before is to keep the solids down. If I feel really adventerous I may even try aging some in an oak barrel like tobasco does, but I wonder if there is really a difference enough in taste to make it worth doing!
I don't usually use recipes, but here's a general idea of my method...
Chillies: it's basically down to what you can get.
I like hot hot sauce and usually use birdseye chillies for heat,
combined with habanero or rocoto for their fruity, complex flavour.
tabasco and jalapeño make good milder sauces; you can add ripe 'sweet' peppers too.
I cut the tops off the chillis, but leave the seeds in unless they're rocotos-
rocotos' black seeds look a bit dodgy in the sauce
Whizz them up in a food processor with some garlic and plenty of salt and a bit of water (I use garlic in just about everything, but leave it out if you want)
Like all my lacto ferments, I like the sauce to taste a fair bit saltier than I'd usually like my food to be-
Lacto bacillus is very salt-tolerant, and if there's not enough salt the pathogenic bacteria can survive and it all goes gross.
Add a bit of water if it's too thick.
I ferment the sauce anaerobically in an old ceramic slow cooker insert in a cool, dark place.
When it calms down a bit I funnel it into bottles, cap loosely and store in the fridge.
If a ferment is particularly active, I'll put the bottles on a tray or something in the fridge to catch spills till they quiet down.
I do have an experimental bottle of tomato-chilli sauce I've kept at room temp since early this year...
Whole fermented chillies are great too-like fermented garlic, they last forever at room temperature.
I like the idea of using an old slow cooker for fermenting, I may have one lying around. I want to make my own fermenting crocks (I have a pottery wheel) but I just moved and dont have a place for my pottey yet (sigh). But you have given my some great ideas of where to start! I think I may buy some pepper from the grocery store just to try out the process, and if it works well I will be planting some hot peppers this spring!