Why wait for summer to make hot sauce? Here's how to make hot sauce from dried peppers, so you can make it year-round.
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. I've made it many times since, with different peppers and great results.
Here's how to make hot sauce from dried peppers.
The trick with using dried peppers instead of fresh is that you have to reconstitute them. Reconstituting dried peppers (like any dried fruit) is easy - just soak in hot water to plump them back up.
Since you're not going to cook this hot sauce, you want to be certain that your peppers plump up pretty well. I did a double soaking method that worked out nicely. First, soak in hot water, then drain and soak again with your garlic in the vinegar you're using to make the hot sauce.
Once your peppers are soaked, just toss them into the blender with the vinegar and garlic, add a touch of brown sugar, and you're good to go.
You can certainly leave the sugar out of this recipe, but I'd recommend leaving it in, if you can. A little bit of sweetness is so nice with peppery heat and that punch from the vinegar. If your sauce turns out too hot, you can even add a bit more sugar to offset the intensity.
How to choose your dried peppers
You can really use any dried peppers you like for this recipe. I've made this sauce using Thai chilis, and the batch in the photos uses dried japones peppers.
This recipe also works great with chipotle chilis, ancho peppers, habaneros, or any other hot pepper you like, so use what you have. Or special order some fancy peppers you've been wanting to try. Get into it!
Got your peppers picked out? Let's heat up some water and get soaking! Here's how to make hot sauce from dried peppers.
How to make hot sauce from dried peppers
- 1 cup dried chili peppers - NOT a packed cup
- boiling water - to cover
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 head garlic - peeled
- 1/4 cup brown sugar - or 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 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.