Jan 3, 2012

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
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Hawaiian's generally do not use very many seasonings in their food. Sea salt is the primary seasoning, and I would say soy sauce would be second. However if you live in Hawaii you may have seen Hawaiian chili pepper water in stores, or at farmers' markets. 

On Moloka'i, chili pepper water is a common seasoning used for sprinkling on steak, pork, fish, laulau, even on eggs. At the heart of this hot sauce is the Hawaiian chili pepper (nioi), a small red or yellow pepper that has been in the Islands since around 1815, but is actually native to Mexico. These peppers will blow your head off if eaten alone. They are easy to grow and the plants are sometimes found at our Saturday morning farmers' market. If you like hot sauce, try and make this recipe yourself, it's very easy, but be sure you wash your hands after handling these peppers, you don't want to get the juice from them in your eyes.

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
Ingredients:
1 cup fresh red Hawaiian chili peppers, stems removed and halved
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 quarter-sized slices fresh ginger, bruised
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut into thin strips (or crushed and left whole)
1 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cups hot water (not boiling)

Procedure:
Combine the ingredients in a clean and sterilized pint bottle or jar. Pour in about 2 cups of hot water and let the mixture steep at room temperature overnight, then refrigerate. It keeps indefinitely. Makes 1 pint.
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