Growing up in a West Indian household, I always ate food packed with a ton of flavor and spice. It wasn’t uncommon to see little kids slopping up some spicy curry without flinching. My own son built up a tolerance to spice early as well. He began eating hot and spicy curry at 8 years old that would make most adults cry. Trust me, I’ve seen people cry. I always made food for folks not of Indian descent and they always, always complained that I used too much spice.
We love heat with our food in our household, so I always make us Guyanese style pepper sauce. This isn’t hot sauce; this is PEPPER SAUCE and it will knock your socks right off, so proceed with caution! This condiment isn’t for the faint of heart.
Guyanese folks use pepper sauce on basically any and everything. I put it on pasta, eggs, vegetables, even fruit! Green mangos, salt and some pepper sauce, my god! I’m drooling just thinking about it. I also love cutting up cucumbers and mixing in some pepper sauce and a bit of salt. You can do whatever you like with it, and once you start making and sharing, your friends and family won’t get enough!
The beautiful thing about this sauce is that you can use whatever type of peppers you like. I like to keep the flavor as authentic to Guyanese cuisine as possible, so I usually stick with wiri wiri or scotch bonnets, but you can use habanero, serrano, Thai chilis or even jalapeno. Just know if you go with other peppers, it may not be as flavorful as wiri wiri or scotch bonnets.
Wiri wiri is a native pepper to Guyana and is almost impossible to find fresh unless you live in Queens or Brooklyn, but you can grow your own. Seeds are available on Amazon and eBay and they produce hundreds of peppers on one plant. I suggest growing four or more plants so you can have peppers throughout the year. They freeze well and can be added to soups, curries, stir fries and stews. The flavor is slightly fruity and adds a unique flavor to food. I love cooking with wiri wiri peppers as well as making it into a sauce. I always get compliments from people about how delicious my food is after they’re done crying from the heat! 😉
The vinegar and salt help to preserve the sauce, so you can store it at room temperature or in the fridge. You can make a big batch and not worry about it going bad. You can also share the love and flavor with friends and family!
What you’ll need:
- A green mango (optional)
- Garlic (Optional)
- ½ Cup of vinegar
- 1 ½ wiri wiri or scotch bonnets
- 2 Tablespoons of salt
Wash and dry peppers. You don’t want moisture in your sauce, otherwise it will go bad. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend well until smooth. You can add more vinegar if you don’t want it too thick. Pour into glass bottles and place in sun for a few days. This will help ferment the peppers and develop the flavor.