it’s no secret i’m a hothead. i love me my chiles and those of you in more hot & dry climes may not know it, but this year the northeast, and more specifically for me, the berkshires, had a damn good chile year. that’s not particularly easy to come by in the short – and usually wet – season we call summer. these juicy little hotties burning up my paw above were the prize from my garden’s chile patch. red hot cherries! perfect for homemade sriracha.
this is how i do it:
- 1 pound red hot cherries (or red jalapeño chiles) stemmed & sliced thin, keep the seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tablespoons sea salt (if your salt is fine, use 2 & 1/2)
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar (or sugar of choice) ground fine
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- food processor
yield: approximately 1 pint
- place sliced chiles and crushed garlic in a bowl. sprinkle salt in and stir. cover bowl and let set at room temperature. after 24 hours the chiles & garlic should be sitting in a pool of salty liquid. keep at room temperature for about a week, and stir once or twice daily so that the chile slices take turns getting dunked. fermentation happens faster in warmer temperatures. my kitchen was around 68-70 degrees throughout and a week was perfect. if your kitchen is much hotter, 5 days might do it. you’ll know they’re ready when the bright red has dulled, the chiles are quite wilted, and if you dare to taste them straight, they’ll bite you back with that slightly-sour wild fermented taste.
- once chiles are fermented, pour the whole lot into a strainer and give it a good shake, get rid of all the liquid. toss them in a food processor along with the sugar and white vinegar. keep it processing for 3-5 minutes and you’ll get it to a good smooth consistency. you could put it in a food mill after that if you must get rid of the seeds, but to me sriracha wouldn’t be sriracha if the seeds were missing.
- fill a pint jar and keep in the fridge, it will last for months. of course my pint is almost gone already. oh dear!
this sriracha is hot, sour, and salty. it is saltier than the store bought kind, so do keep that in mind when using.