Chinese Fermented Chili Peppers

My dear friend Echo, who is originally from China, is a constant source of inspiration for my various culinary projets. She is a wonderful cook and knows her stuff in Chinese cookery. This recipe was adapted from hers.

I was surprised to learn that Chinese rice wine is quite strong, and Echo suggests using vodka !!! in its place should you not have any. That is exactly what I use each time, with great results. If you have chili peppers of various colours even prettier.

The chili peppers are finely chopped, along with the garlic and ginger. Keep the size of the all the ingredient similar for a nice consistent finish. You can use a food processor or chopper as well, if you are careful not to blitz to a purée.

All ingredients are then stirred together and put into a clean jar. Easy as that ! This sauce keeps for ages (like up to a year) in the fridge. The scent of this simple sauce is gorgeous !

Chinese Fermented Chilis

You may find yourself serving this spicy, sweet, flavourful sauce with everything. Its great with rice or noodle dishes, a dip for all deep fried things, eggs, grilled or roased veg, stirred into mayonnaise or to top a tomato or cucumber salad.

  • 2 cups finely chopped hot chili peppers – mix up the colours and leave in as many seeds as you like depending on your heat tolerance 😉
  • 1/4 cup white rice wine or vodka
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use a bit less)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons good quality salt

Wash the chili peppers and dry them well. Chop finely by hand or in a food processor. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and then transfer to a clean jar and seal. After 2 – 3 days at room temperature, store in the fridge. If you use a clean spoon and avoid contamination with water or oil, the sauce will last months.

Merci to Echo and PS: she runs an amazing guest house in south west France if you are ever in the neighbourhood 😉

Bon appétit !

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Fresh Fig Chutney

It’s that time of year when (for those of us in the countryside) our neighbour pops round with a big bowl of fresh figs ! I’m not a fan of fig jam, but thought I’d try chutney this year. I have just made a batch of this recipe and its delish 🙂

Merci David Lebovitz ! I replaced some of the figs with a diced (also freshly picked) apple and added a hot chili from my garden. The recipe should make 2 jam jars, but my batch made 3, so lucky me !

Bon Appetit !