Fermented Dried Jalapeno Hot Sauce

I’m a geek.  A proud geek.  A multi-threat geek.  I like to ferment, dehydrate, program computers, play games and do all sorts of geeky things.

And sometimes I like to do some of those things together.

This is my second attempt at a fermented-dry pepper hot sauce (the first was made with smoky morita peppers):

Fermented Dried Jalapeno Hot Sauce Whey jalapeno hot sauce Fermenting

The results are AWESOME!  The sauce is hot and slightly sour.  The sour is barely noticeable unless you concentrate on tasting it and then it’s easy to find.  There’s no hint of vinegar/ acid so this is a great addition to dishes without worrying about changing the flavor of everything in the dish.

A few notes on our approach when making this:

  • I made a small batch as peppers are off season.  I do experiments like this so that I know what I want to make when the flavors are in abundance.  It’s no fun to ruin an experiment when you’re making 3 gallons of hot peppers.
  • The peppers were dried by me.  This is important as I could control how slowly they dried.  These were dried over a 5-day period at 110 degrees.  The long drying process leaves more flesh in-tact, avoids the use of chemicals that are often used in commercial production and, most importantly, leaves organisms in the peppers as living (they die over 125 degrees).
  • Salt is less important when fermenting dried foods as there is no liquid to pull from the vegetable.  It will, however, slow the ferment and is useful.
  • I add whey to the ferment as it increases the amount of healthy bacteria in the ferment (not as necessary when using fresh product)

Here’s how to ferment dried jalapenos and make a hot sauce (it will store indefinitely in your fridge):

Fermented Dried Jalapeno Hot Sauce – Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 cups dried jalapeno slices
  • 3 tablespoons whey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Unchlorinated water
  • 1 500-ml (2 cup) mason jar

Fermented Dried Jalapeno Hot Sauce – Instructions

  1.  Mix hot peppers, whey and salt in the mason jar.
  2. Fill jar with unchlorinated water.
  3. Cover jar with a clean towel and leave in a warm spot in your kitchen.  Check daily for mould (if any appears, simply spoon it off).
  4. Start tasting peppers after day 3.  It’s done when you are happy (we waited about 6 days before we were happy; our kitchen was around 70 Fahrenheit the whole time)
  5. When you’re ready to make your sauce, pour the brine into a clean bowl.
  6. Add solids to a blender (high speed will make it the smoothest) and puree.  Add brine until you are happy with the taste and texture (we used all of it).
  7. Some people strain their sauce, I prefer it in tact.

That’s all there is to it – about 10 minutes of work and a week of waiting!




  1. Does drying the Jalapenos infect the air in your space with their oils?

  2. This sounds great. I wanted to try with dried Moritas. The ones I have are already ground to powder because it is easier for me to use them that way. Do you see any problem attempting fermentation with ground dry peppers?

  3. matthew Duffy says:

    Where do you get the whey that you use for this?

  4. Rodney R says:

    Question: Do you ever use some of the brine from one fermented batch of peppers to start a new batch instead of yogurt whey?

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