Intro to Fermented Hot Sauces

Chillis are a wonderful plant to grow in the Perth climate as they love warm temperatures and lots of sun. It’s warm enough here that you can grow the more common varieties year-round, which means lots of chillis from only a few plants. Glut time!

One great thing to do with an excess of fresh chillis is to whip up a fermented hot sauce. It’s a very quick ferment to prepare and doesn’t require any fancy equipment, so is actually a great option if you don’t have much fermenting experience

If you’d like to get a handle on the basics of fermenting our favourite fermenting chef Tim is running an Intro to Fermentation class on 17 August 2024. He is also running a more advanced class that specifically covers fermented hot sauces in September- Gourmet Fermentation- Funk and Flavour


QV1 Crop Club: Chilli edition in April 2024


I recently made this fermented hot sauce as part of a chilli workshop we ran for our friends at the QV1 building. We deliver a ‘Crop Club’ program for them, choosing a crop that is in season in their beautiful Qmunity Garden and teach their tenants how to make yummy food with it. We dried chillis, made Italian chilli oil and blended up this fermented hot sauce which had been bubbling away at home for the week prior. It was very well received by the group and had a vibrant orangey red colour.

The best ingredients for fermenting come from your garden or the organic stall at your local farmers market. Fermenting relies on the bacteria living on the skin of your veggies, so you don’t want produce that has had pesticides used on it.

So get in the kitchen and give this basic fermented hot sauce recipe a try! This one has a nice sweetness to it with the red capsicum, if you prefer a hotter version you can increase the proportion of chills to capsicum.


Proportions of vegetables used for this basic hot sauce

Fermented Hot Sauce


250g red chili peppers, ends removed, coarsely chopped

100 g red capsicum, washed and coarsely chopped

1 small unpeeled carrot, scrubbed, very thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove, halved

2.5 cups room temperature filtered or rain water

1 tablespoon natural salt (not table salt)

1 tablespoon white vinegar (to taste)



The veggies prepared and ready to start fermenting

One litre jar with lid- wash it with warm soap water and rinse well

Fermentation weight or ziplock bag



  1. Make the brine by dissolving the salt in warm water, then allow to cool
  2. Wash and chop the vegetables and pack them into the clean jar
  3. Cover with the brine
  4. Weigh the veggies down with a fermenting weight or a ziplock bag with some brine in it. Put the lid on loosely
  5. Place in a cool dark cupboard on a plate to catch any overflow
  6. ‘Burp’ it each day but undoing the lid. Push any veggies that have floated up under the brine surface
  7. It should start to bubble and the liquid become cloudy within a few days
  8. After 7-10 days check the carrot. If it is soft then strain the veggies out, reserving the brine
  9. Place the veggies in a blender, plus 1 cup of the brine and the vinegar if using
  10. Blend it well
  11. Store the hot sauce in a squeezy bottle in the fridge for up to 3 months. It will keep fermenting slowly so if you put it in a tightly sealed jar it might get a bit too gassy. Shake it up each time you use it.

We’d love to hear if you try this recipe and what you think of it! Let us know in the comments below.