Fiery Chile Paste

Add a lovely punch of heat to your favorite foods with this fermented chile paste. Using only three ingredients, this versatile condiment will keep for up to 2 years in the fridge. Add it to sauces, salsas or marinades, or use it to top burritos or burgers to give a little spice to your meal.
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Fiery Chile Paste recipe

Depending on the pepper you choose, this paste can be mildly spicy to five-alarm-fire hot.

  • Prep Time
  • 1 16-oz jarServings


  • 16 red chile peppers such as red jalapeño or Fresno (or Thai red chilis if you want an extremely hot 911 sauce), seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped English cucumber
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • 1 16-oz wide-mouth glass jar with lid, sterilized


1. To a food processor or blender, add peppers; pulse until finely chopped. (TIP: Be careful when removing lid as pepper fumes can irritate eyes and throat.) Add cucumber and salt; pulse until puréed. (NOTE: The salt will pull liquid out of the peppers.) 

2. Pour chile mixture into a 16-oz wide-mouth glass jar. Using a spoon or gloved hands, press mixture down firmly to release liquid and remove any air pockets, pressing until ingredients are completely submerged and leaving 1 inch head-space between chile mixture and rim of jar. 

3. Let ferment in a cool place  away from direct sunlight, opening jar every 24 hours for first 2 weeks to release pressure, pressing down on ingredients as needed to keep chile mixture submerged in liquid. Continue to ferment, tasting occasionally, until mixture reaches desired tanginess, up to 4 weeks more (6 weeks total). 

4. Seal jar tightly and refrigerate  for up to 2 years.

Note: A harmless white yeast called kahm may develop on the paste as it ferments (and, in fact, it can happen with many fermentation recipes). Simply spoon off the top and wipe any residue from inside the jar before transferring to the fridge. You can clearly see the difference between kahm and mold, which is fuzzy looking. In some cases, kahm will change the flavor or cause a yeast-like odor, in which case you can dispose of it and start fresh.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 tsp
  • Calories: 1
  • Sodium Content: 20 mg