Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Fermentation time: 7 days

Once fermented the hot sauce lasts for 3-6 months in your fridge.

Lacto-fermentation is the process by which bacteria break down the sugars in foods and form lactic acid. Lacto-fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles.


10 large chillies of your choice (or enough to fill your jar)

2-5 garlic cloves, peeled

1 red onion, chopped

1 piece of ginger

approx. 1 litre water

2 tablespoons sea salt

pinch of sugar or pieces of dried or fresh fruit as you like


1 -2 litre jar with lid

Fermentation Weights (rocks or a good chunk of veg to hold the chillies down under the brine)

Jug for brine

Spoon for stirring

Post Fermentation:

Bottle/s with lid for when it’s ready

Blender or way to grind the chillies after fermentation



  1. Pop your clean chillies into your jar
  2. Add any other vegetables you have – carrot, garlic, onion and ginger
  3. Make your brine separately – stirring the salt vigorously into a container of water until dissolved
  4. Pour this brine over your vegetables until they are well covered. You need to make sure you have the jar nice and full, more chillies than brine or your brine won’t have the intense flavour you’re looking for.
  5. You want to hold your chillies underneath the brine so either a piece of carrot, half an onion, half an apple or fermentation weights sitting atop your chillies would work well.
  6. Lid your jar and sit it in a cool dry place like your pantry. Leave for about 7 days, checking in every couple of days, feel free to let the gas out.
  7. When you are ready, pull out the vegetables and pop them into a blender. Only add as much liquid as you’d like. The more brine, the runnier the sauce will be, start off with just the chillies, and slowly add the brine until it tastes good. Because – it really is all about that, right? (Think about how you imagine using this sauce –  splash it on scrambled eggs, or tofu. Noodles that need a kick. Use this one more as a splash than a pour).
  8. When you have it how you like it – bottle it up into a very clean – (boiled water clean) bottle. Lid it and refrigerate, and don’t forget to add it to your food.

Tips: Have fun with the process and experiment and choose your own flavours. From the chillies you choose to the added fruit and/or vegetables.

Recipe by The Fermentary