I’ve always wanted to make my own hot sauce but I have such a long list of things I’ve wanted to make from scratch I never got round to it.
Then a friend asked me some tips on making baked vegan wings and I got my hot sauce bug back. The issue I have with hot sauce is that the good stuff is often expensive, especially when you have to import it. And then since taste is so personal you’re never quite sure what you’re getting.
Hot Sauce Research
So I got back on track with my hot sauce plans. Chili Pepper Madness has a great article on the foundations of what kind of hot sauces there are and how to make them. So that’s where I started. Then I started thinking about flavors. I don’t like my hot sauce overtly hot, I want flavor, not just burn. That sort of nonsense is for white people.
I do like my hot sauce kind of gritty and umami rich, with smoky undertones. I settled on an idea I had years ago, which is to make a mapo tofu flavored hot sauce. I used the spices from Peter Meehan’s mushroom mapo tofu recipe, with the foundation for a basic Louisana style hot sauce from Chili Pepper Madness.
Mapo Hot Sauce Uses
The result is pretty awesome. If I do say so myself. I’ve plonked it on eggs, crispy oven-baked tofu puffs and chicken and used it to make a really sumptuous vegan spicy noodle bowl with silken tofu.
I have not tested the acidity levels yet, so I’m not sure how long this keeps. Given that it’s drowning in oil, vinegar and fermented goods, I’d imagine basically until you see mold on it. Which hasn’t been the case for me yet, staring at it for the past couple of weeks or so.
The next step of course would be to make your own doubanjiang and spicy chili crisp before making this. But hey, baby steps.
Hot-Tingle Mapo Hot Sauce
- 1 1/2 c rice wine vinegar
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 tbsp ginger peeled and cute into pieces
- 8 tbsp doubanjiang this is a salty paste made from broad and soy beans, salt, rice and various spices, find it at your local Asian supermarket
- 8 tbsp spicy chili crisp
- 8 tsp Sichuan peppercorns black seeds removed
- 4 tsp gochugaru these are Korean dried chili flakes
- Place the cloves, ginger, doubanjiang, spicy chili crisp, peppercorns and gochugaru in a small kitchen blender and blend until you get a fine paste.
- Dump the paste into a heavy bottomed saucepan with the rice wine vinegar and bring to the boil.
- Leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- Blend again until you get a semi-fine sauce and then bottle in a sterilized glass bottle or jar (fresh from the dishwasher on its most intense setting should work well enough for sterilizing in most cases).
- I like my sauce coarse and pulpy, but if you want a thin even sauce you can run the sauce through a fine sieve to get the grit out.
- Shake before use.