Sure, making hot sauce is easy in summer when peppers are in season, but with dried peppers, you can make local hot sauce from scratch year round!
Last week, I shared how to make hot sauce without turning on the stove, and one reader asked if the recipe would work with dried peppers instead of fresh. What a great question! Since I happened to have a small bag of dried, Thai chilies on hand, I gave this a go, and it turned out really well!
The trick with using dried peppers instead of fresh is that you have to reconstitute them. Since you’re not going to cook this hot sauce, you want to beÂ certain that your peppers plump up pretty well. I did a double soaking method that worked out nicely. Here’s how it goes!
Dried Pepper Hot Sauce
- 4-5 chili peppers, dried
- water, to cover
- apple cider vinegar, to cover
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or more, to taste
- Cut the tops off of your chili peppers, then place them in a small bowl. Heat your water to boiling, then pour it over the peppers. You may need to use a spoon or two to anchor those suckers so that they stay submerged. Let your peppers soak in the water for about 30 minutes, then drain them.
- Add the peppers to the bowl with the garlic cloves, then pour enough vinegar over them to cover. Use your spoons again, like in the picture above, to keep the peppers from floating, and soak for 30 minutes more.
- Pour the peppers, garlic, and vinegar into a food processor and add the sugar. Blend until smooth.
That’s it! Those Thai chilis were pretty spicy, but you could mix things up and use any hot peppers you like to control the heat. If you don’t like things too atomic, you can also shake some of the seeds out of the peppers before you start, since the seeds definitely up the heat factor.
This experience definitely has me wanting to start drying some of those good, hot, summer peppers so that I can make hot sauce all winter long!