Strawberry Habanero Hot Sauce


Homemade hot sauce is actually way easier than you'd think



I explored an incredibly distinctive recipe in my “Have You Heard of These 5 Fermented Foods from Around the World?” series, and it’s one that probably doesn’t come to mind when you think of fermented foods! This Canadian strawberry habanero hot sauce is a real treat, and it’s a wonderful option for those who enjoy a little spice instead of an overwhelming amount of heat. The strawberry comes through beautifully in this dish, and it is a wonderful addition to a snack plate. 

This recipe comes from Jay, who resides in a small town outside of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Since they were nine years old, Jay always yearned to share food with others. After all, sharing good food with good company is one of life’s many wonderful pastimes. It is also a beautiful way to show someone you care about them. Although Jay tells us that this bright, delicious hot sauce isn’t a quintessential Canadian dish, this sentiment feels very Canadian! The addition of strawberries is definitely inspired by Quebec cuisine, and it produces an addictive final product. 

Fermentation in Canada dates all the way back to the time of fur trappers and traders, who often slept with their sourdough starters to keep them warm during bitterly cold winter nights. With such a short summer season, Canadians opt for fermentation as a way to keep certain foods fresh year-round, such as fermented pickles, mustard, and, of course, hot sauce! Jay makes their strawberry habanero hot sauce in early June, as Quebec field strawberries are in peak season during this time. If you want to pick your own strawberries, check when they’re in season near you! 

Made from hot peppers of your choice, strawberries, and garlic soaked in saltwater brine for nine to fourteen days, the process of making this dish was intense! My final version of strawberry habanero hot sauce was more brown than bright ruby red in color, but it held no shortage of flavor. I think the use of green peppers dulled the color, but definitely not the taste. Even with a thinner hot sauce consistency, it was still delicious; the strawberry came through stronger than I anticipated, and the sauce itself was relatively mild. Ultimately, this dish was wonderfully sweet, spicy, and funky, which are some really fun flavors to mix. However, the fermentation process was definitely not for beginners! Without tools like a weight or pressure release valve, I opted to open the container every day and shake, and it still turned out great. But the process was still long and demanding, yielding my delicious strawberry habanero hot sauce ten days later. If you’re up to the challenge, it’s a unique and tasty dish that I highly recommend! 

 I agree with Jay that bottling and sharing delicious foods is an excellent way to show your love. This strawberry habanero hot sauce is truly a labor of love, so try sharing it with your family, friends, or even neighbors!

Watch the Video

Strawberry Habanero Hot Sauce


  • 300 g strawberries
  • 300 g hot peppers (I used 80% jalepenos plus 3 habaneros)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 30 ml salt
  • ¾ cup white wine vinegar


To make the mash

  • To make the mash: in a food processor, pulse strawberries, peppers, and salt in a food processor until berries release liquid and mixture is coarsely pureed, about 12 to 15 pulses.
  • Transfer mash to wide-mouth, 1-quart canning jar. Tap jar lightly on palm to remove any air pockets. Leave at room temperature for 9-14 days. Burp and shake jar daily.

To finish the hot sauce

  • Transfer mash to a blender. Add vinegar, and blend on high speed until smooth and emulsified, about 1 minute. Strain sauce through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer strained hot sauce to glass bottles or jar, cover, and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Will keep in the fridge for 6 months to a year.
Course: Snack
Region: North America


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