Lacto-Fermented Chilli Sauce
  1. Wash the jar you want to use in hot soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and leave to dry.
  2. Clean the chilipeppers and remove both the stems and the seeds. For some reason, the seeds seem to be more prone to going mouldy. Removing them will prevent a lot of problems.
  3. Put the peppers in a blender or foodprocessor and process into a pulp. If the mixture is to dry to process, add a little bit of water.
  4. Weigh the chili pulp, so you can calculate the amount of salt you need to add. You’ll need 2.25% of the total weight. In other words, 22.5 g of salt per kg of chillipuree.
  5. Stir the salt through the puree and mix it thoroughly. At this point you can also add the fructose powder. This will give the fermentation a bit of a kickstart. However, it isnt necessary and you can leave it out if you wish.
  6. Pour the chilli puree into your jar, close the lid and fill the airlock with water.
  7. Store the jar at room temperature, as this is the temperature the fermentation bacteria like best. Don’t put it in direct sunlight, as this will make the temperature fluctuate too much.
  8. Leave the sauce in peace as it ferments. Don’t stir or move it. If you need to refill the airlock, do so carefully.
  9. It’s possible to get small patches of mould forming on the surface of your sauce. As long as it’s just on the surface, it’s not a problem. It’s actually not your sauce that is mouldy in that case, it’s dead bacteria that have floated to the top. Just carefully scoop those patches out of the jar. But make sure you use clean utensils. This way you’ll avoid contaminating the inside of the jar with unwanted bacteria.
  10. How long you want to let your sauce ferment is really up to you. But ideally, you should wait untill your sauce is below 3.5 pH. This will usually take a couple of weeks. But the longer you let it ferment, the more the taste will develop. You can leave it for as long as a year.
  11. Once your sauce has fermented for long enough, you can sieve it. First scoop off the surface layer of the pulp. This layer is often a bit discolored and rather unappetising. Discard it.
  12. Pour the rest of the sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl. Use the back of a spoon to push any remaining liquid out of the pulp. Measure the pH of the sauce. If it is not below 3.5, add some vinegar until it is low enough.
  13. Put the sauce in a clean jar and store in the refrigerator.