Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ukrainian Hot Sauce (well sort of)

OK, it's not really Ukrainian hot sauce, but you can make it in Ukraine. I'm writing this post so that I can share some of my experiences with trying to satisfy cravings for this spicy red liquid here in Ukraine. It seems that most Americans and especially Californians have a strong liking for the stuff. Edna and I are no different. We both like Tabasco and Tapatio with a preference for the latter. After exhausting our last bottle of Tapatio one day, I decided that I would try and create something that could serve as a reasonable substitute. I headed for the local outdoor market and began my quest for spicy goodness in a bottle. Here's what I came up with:

3 tablespoons ground red peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder (if you can find it)
6 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons water

You can find these red peppers just about anywhere they sell vegetables. The best method is to dry the peppers in the sun or indoors (it works well in the summer if you have a balcony). This might take a couple of weeks depending on the weather. If you can't wait that long, you can dry them in the oven for 24 hours at about 50 Celsius, but the flavor of the peppers isn't quite as good. If you really can't wait, you can chop up the fresh peppers and throw them straight into the blender, but I don't have a recipe for that.

Slice open the peppers on one side so that they will dry properly and then run a needle and thread through the green stem so that you can hang them. You can dry large amounts of peppers this way. Once the peppers are completely dry they will be brittle and break easily. The best way to grind up the peppers is in a coffee grinder. They should grind into a red powder. I also used a coffee grinder to grind up the dried oregano I bought, turning it into a powder as well. (I try to store up as much of the ground peppers as I can for future batches.)

Basically, all you need to do is to throw all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The result is a spicy hot sauce that seems to me to be a little less salty than Tapatio, but still a worthy substitute. The above recipe makes enough hot sauce to fit in a 10 FL. OZ. / 296 mL container with plenty of room to allow for any expansion. This sauce seems to get better with age and doesn't need to be refrigerated. Feel free to modify the recipe to suit your individual tastes. Let me know how it works out.



Tim Emerson said...

"After exhausting our last bottle of Tapatio one day"

I cried when I read that (j/k). Thanks for the recipe!

Carochka said...

God is good! ha! :) No, really. Just today I was thinking "Greg should do a blog with his hot sauce recipe because I will link it on my spot!" Way to go...and watch out for the French! (gotta read Jake and Anya's spot to understand this!)

Little Viky said...

Sorry, guys... May be the Lord just doesn't want me to get it. Still may your needs be satisfied! (even if it is a need for a strange thing which makes you burn alive... hee hee)

Greg and Edna Silva said...

I forgot to mention that you can mix the hot sauce with a little сметана (sour cream) to get something similar to Buffalo sauce. I like to put the above mixture in with Мівіна.

Thanks. I'm just glad I'm not the only person keeping up with foreign affairs. ;)

It only burns at first. After awhile you lose all sensation in your mouth. It's great with any food. I can send you a bottle.