A delightfully complex hibiscus hot sauce recipe with wonderful tart, sweet and spicy notes. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Hibiscus aka jamaica is a flower commonly used in Mexican cuisine. In a hot sauce, hibiscus adds a nice floral blast of flavor, coupled with sweetness and some sharp tart notes. It truly makes for one unique hot sauce experience!
❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe
- This is a truly unique hot sauce recipe with a complex flavor full of depth.
- You can use this sauce much as you would any other condiment.
- It's super duper easy to make hibiscus hot sauce!
- You can modify the heat intensity by swapping the chiles for any chiles you prefer.
- Hibiscus is naturally rich in Vitamin C!
- This hot sauce is naturally vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and dairy-free.
🌶️ Ingredients and Substitutes
Dried hibiscus flowers: Dried hibiscus flowers contribute a lot to the flavor dimensions of this recipe. Good quality, organic blossoms will provide the biggest punch. Older, pesticide-treated dried blossoms will be less potent.
Dried Thai chiles: Thai chiles aka bird's eye peppers land somewhere in the 50,000-100,000 range of the Scoville scale, making them more of a medium-heat range level of chili. They pack a bunch, but if you are an absolute lover of spice, you might prefer swapping it for a more potent pepper such as ghost pepper or scotch bonnet chiles. If a Thai chile seems like it might just be too hot, you can use a mild chile such as guajillo or ancho.
Boiling water: Boiling water is used to soften the dried ingredients before blending them.
Garlic: Most good hot sauces have garlic in some form and this hot sauce is no exception! If you are a mega garlic fan, feel free to add a few more cloves. If you are out of fresh garlic, you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder in a pinch!
Vinegar: I find the natural sweetness of apple cider vinegar to work well with the other ingredients in this recipe, but feel free to swap out for whatever vinegar you have on hand. Regular white, white wine and even balsamic vinegar will get the job done.
Pomegranate molasses: Pomegranate molasses is somewhat of a specialty ingredient, but it truly is unique and delicious and works as the perfect natural sweetener for this recipe. Pomegranate has its own touch of tartness that just works perfectly with the natural tartness in the hibiscus flowers. Having said that, the flavor will be slightly different, but you can use honey or maple syrup if that is what you have on hand, with still-delicious results.
Peppercorns and salt: Black peppercorns or rainbow peppercorns not only enhance the spice in this recipe but also add some deeper smoky flavor notes.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon and hibiscus go together extremely well and the sweet warmth of ground cinnamon helps balance the sharper tarter notes of the hibiscus.
🥣 How to Make Hibiscus Hot Sauce
- First, you need to soak the dried chiles and hibiscus blossoms in boiling water for about half an hour to soften them.
- Then, add the soaking ingredients, soaking water included, in a blender alongside the remaining ingredients.
- Blend until smooth, then optionally strain before bottling and enjoying.
🍽️ Serving Ideas
- Add to vinaigrettes.
- Use in cocktail or mocktail recipes.
- Drizzle over soups or stews.
- Mix with honey and drizzle over fresh fruit for a delectable treat.
- Use as a dip for fried foods like french fries, mozzarella sticks, or falafel.
- Mix with oil to make a spicy salad dressing.
- Serve with cheesy foods like quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Drizzle over eggs.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
Hibiscus hot sauce will keep in an airtight bottle or container in the refrigerator for at least 3 months.
More Delicious Hot Sauce Recipes
Hibiscus Hot Sauce Recipe
- 7 dried Thai chiles
- 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus/jamaica flowers cut and sifted
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black or rainbow peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add the dried chiles and hibiscus flowers to a bowl and cover them with the boiling water. Allow all to soak and soften for 30 minutes.
- Add the chiles, hibiscus, and soaking water to a blender, along with the garlic, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, salt, peppercorns, and cinnamon.
- Blend until smooth.
- Optionally strain before funneling into a bottle or jar.