5 DAY FERMENTATION ALERT

Ahh Sriracha, let me count the ways I love thee.

We’ll fess up, it took 3 attempts. We’ve made mistakes, learnt lessons and are passing those savings on to you. All that ‘info’ is at the end of the recipe and worth a read before you start fermentin’.

This is the real deal folks, strap in!

15 mins + 5 days | makes 300ml | easy, mostly

Ingredients 

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300g red chillies, stalks removed and chopped 
200g red peppers, deseeded and chopped 
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp sea salt flakes 
75g soft dark brown sugar 
2 tbsp rice vinegar 
2 tsp fish sauce – is how it’s done in Thailand, up to you* 

Method 

Put the chillies and peppers in a blitzer with the garlic, salt and brown sugar and whizz to a rough purée. Put in a big glass bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a cool place to ferment.

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It will be a couple of days before you notice any fermentation, but once you see bubbles forming at the surface it’s starting. Leave for another 2-3 days, stirring each day. 

Whizz the mixture so it’s as smooth as possible, then strain through a sieve into a pan, to remove the seeds.

Add the rice vinegar and fish sauce, bring to the boil and bubble until thickened. This will take upwards of 5 mins, give it the occasional stir.

Leave to cool, then taste and adjust to your liking with more sugar, fish sauce and/or rice vinegar. Once cooled, decant into sterilised bottles to give as gifts… mostly.

Cha cha cha.

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We got this recipe from Olive magazine, Christmas 2016.

Word on what we learnt from our mistakes – 

Attempt #1 we left it in the coolest corner of the kitchen for its 5 day ferment but as it was the lead up to Christmas the kitchen was too darn hot. As a consequence our ferment went mouldy on day 3 – not cool. So… get yer chillies into the coolest place in your house to ferment

Attempt #2 armed with the knowledge we’d over heated the last batch but that it had otherwise been successful we we’re a bit slap dash on the ratios and that was a massive error. If the mix doesn’t reach a high enough acidity it doesn’t ferment properly, a symptom of which can be a surface layer of a yeast called kahm yeast. Kahm yeast is harmless and if you wish you could just scrape it off and carry on, however, it can give the ferment a slightly off taste and as we were making them as presents we didn’t want to risk either the taste of the sriracha or the good health of the recipients in continuing. We fairly believe the lack of acidity was down to having too many red peppers to chillies which made the ferment mix too watery, and not enough salt as well perhaps. So…. take care to get the ratios right going in

Attempt #3 resulted in “Wow! You’ve done it, you’ve made actual sriracha” and he was right. It tasted exactly as sriracha should. So… we got there in the end

* As we had a rusty old bottle of fish sauce lurking in the back of the fridge from our pre-flexitarian days, we did. Better to use it up I suppose, though it’s the opposite of climate kind to be sure. We’re going to do some experimentin’ of our own to find a vegan way to create that unmistakable sriracha taste. Wish us luck, we’ll be back with the results.

 

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