Homemade Fermented Bajan Pepper Sauce (Barbados Hot Sauce)

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This delicious fermented hot sauce recipe comes from my book Fermented Hot Sauce Cookbook, available wherever books are sold. ❤️

If you’re in the mood for an absolute explosion of flavor, you will find it in this hot sauce hailing from Barbados. Nothing compares to the unique flavor combo you will find here, not to mention a perfect middle-of-the-road spice factor.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • This is a great starter fermented hot sauce recipe with very straightforward instructions.
  • The taste is savory, spicy, tangy, with a hint of sweetness.
  • If you are a fellow horseradish lover, then this recipe is definitely for you.
  • This sauce is packed with probiotics and gut healing power.
  • The hot sauce has a medium heat level, but still maintains a lot of flavor.
  • With proper storage, it keeps for at least a year.

What is Barbados-Style Hot Sauce?

Barbados-style hot sauce, also known as Bajan pepper sauce, is a hot sauce staple on the island known as Barbados in the Caribbean. Scotch bonnets, mustard and turmeric are almost always in a good Bajan hot sauce.

Ingredient Notes

Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles: Hot scotch bonnet peppers and habanero peppers are closely related therefore either can be used. If you want to be authentic to the Caribbean, then go with the scotch bonnet.

Onion: A little flavor booster. Either white or yellow can be used

Horseradish root: Good quality fresh horseradish root will be the star of the show in this pepper sauce recipe.

Garlic: Fresh cloves of garlic combined with a few other spices, really complement the horseradish tone in this recipe.

Non-chlorinated water and non-iodized salt: These are essential for creating a healthy brine that allows fermentation to occur.

Vinegar: I like the touch that white wine vinegar adds to this recipe, but regular white vinegar, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used instead.

Mustard powder: Ground mustard really adds something special to this recipe and is also a very traditional ingredient. I do not recommend swapping it out for anything else.

Sugar: This adds ever so slight a hint of sweetness and also tones down the spice a touch. You can use cane sugar, brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you would rather keep this recipe no sugar added, you can certainly omit if need be.

Ground Turmeric: The bitter flavor notes of turmeric help balance the spicy and sharp notes in this homemade hot sauce, and truly adds a special twist.

bajan pepper sauce recipe from fermented hot sauce cookbook by kristen wood

How to Make Bajan Pepper Sauce

You will find the full, detailed recipe instructions in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post. But, to summarize:

  1. Combine chiles, onion, horseradish and garlic in a large clean jar.
  2. Combine the salt and water to make a brine.
  3. Pour the brine into the jar to cover the ingredients.
  4. Screw the lid on and place the jar in a dark place for 2 weeks.
  5. Once fermentation is complete, strain the ingredients over a large bowl, reserving some of the brine.
  6. Combine the strained ingredients, reserved brine, vinegar, mustard, sugar, turmeric and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until a smooth consistency.
  7. Keep stored in the refrigerator for up to one year.

How to Serve

  • Drizzle onto grain and rice bowls.
  • Make a salad dressing by mixing one part bajan pepper sauce with one part olive oil and one part mayo.
  • Top off baked potatoes, tacos, quesadillas and more.
  • Use as a dip for fries or other appetizers.
  • Use as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.
  • Mix into other dips such as hummus or spinach artichoke dip.
  • Drizzle over soups and stews.


How do I store Fermented Bajan Pepper Sauce?

Be certain to store the freshly fermented sauce in a clean jar or hot sauce bottle in the refrigerator, keep the lid screwed on tightly when not in use and use clean utensils and hands when handling.

How long does fermented hot sauce keep in the fridge?

With good care, fermented hot sauce will keep in the refrigerator for at least one year

Can I swap the chiles out for a milder variety?

Yes. If you would like to make a mild version of this sauce, you can use jalapeno or poblano, for instance. If you are a fan of red peppers, Fresno chiles can be used, or even red bell peppers.

More Hot Sauce Recipes

Fermented Hot Sauce Cookbook

Hot Sauce Cookbook for Beginners

Fermented Jalapeno Hot Sauce

bajan pepper sauce recipe

Fermented Bajan Pepper Sauce Recipe

If you're in the mood for an absolute explosion of flavor, you will find it in this hot sauce hailing from Barbados. Nothing compares to the unique flavor combo you will find here, not to mention a perfect middle-of-the-road spice factor.
4.74 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Caribbean
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Fermentation Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 10 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 2 ½ ounces fresh scotch bonnet or habanero chiles stemmed, approx. 10 chiles
  • 1 yellow or white onion halved
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh horseradish root
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 ½ cups non-chlorinated water
  • 2 tablespoons non-iodized salt I like to use pink Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt
  • ¾ cup reserved brine
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar or any vinegar of choice
  • 3 tablespoons ground mustard powder yellow
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar any variety
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt any variety


  • In a clean jar, combine the chiles, onion, horseradish, and garlic.
  • In a separate vessel, make a brine by combining the water and non-iodized salt.
  • Place a weight, if using, then pour the brine into the jar, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace. Screw the lid on tightly and store the jar at room temperature away from direct sunlight to ferment for two weeks. Burp (open, then close) the jar daily.
  • Once fermentation is complete, strain the ferment, reserving ¾ cup of the brine.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the ferment, reserved brine, vinegar, mustard powder, sugar, turmeric, and salt. Blend until well combined.
  • Keep the sauce stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.


Serving: 1ounce | Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 911mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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4.74 from 15 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating



  1. Are the onions, ginger, scotch bonnet peppers and horseradish root chopped, grated, minced, etc before combining? Inquiring minds like to know. I would imagine a whole piece of horseradish would impart a different amount of flavor than if it were shredded first. Thanks, Jack

    1. Hi, Jack! Thank you for visiting! If you look to the right of each ingredient listed, you will see the preferred form (if not whole). For onions, you will halve them. Peppers are simply stemmed (whole). Horseradish is added as is. With garlic, you add two whole cloves. I hope this helps!

  2. Can’t find horseradish root. Can I use prepared grated horseradish. Would assume it wouldn’t be in the fermenting process but added later before blending.

    1. Hi, Mike! Thank you for visiting. Yes, I do think that would work well for blending after fermentation. For the closest results in flavor, I would aim for prepared horseradish with the least amount of additional ingredients. I hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe!

      1. Thank you for the reply, Kristen. I will try it. Do you think a tablespoon would be a good amount? I am trying to re-create the Bajan sauce I remember having as a kid. Fritos dipped in a little Bajan was my favorite.

        1. What a nice memory! I would recommend using more like two tablespoons of the prepared horseradish to replicate the flavor as closely as possible. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi, there! Thank you. I hope you enjoy it! No, due to its acidic nature, it will keep for at least 3 months at a reasonable room temp. If you are in a very warm climate though, then I would recommend refrigeration. You can go by taste and smell as far as when its time is up, but by experience, it should keep several months with no problem. I hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this hot sauce yesterday and it works perfect. It is really good and I used it on my sandwiches and fried chicken.

  4. 5 stars
    I love any kind of hot sauce and this sounds amazing. Even better with the turmeric added,

  5. 5 stars
    I love hot sauce but have never heard of this type! It looks so good, I can’t wait to try making homemade hot sauce for the first time!