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Caribbean Hot Sauce

What is Caribbean Hot Sauce?

Caribbean hot sauce is a spicy condiment commonly used in Caribbean cuisine to add spicy, tangy flavor to dishes like jerk chicken, curries, stews, and more. It is an essential condiment in home kitchens and restaurants.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Scotch Bonnets: Central to any hot sauce is hot peppers for heat. In Caribbean hot sauce, you’ll find scotch bonnet and habanero peppers. 
  • Onion: For a robust flavor, leave the onion raw or sauté them for a mellower taste.
  • Pineapple: Caribbean hot sauce requires citrus to balance the heat. I prefer fresh pineapple or mango paired with lime juice. You can even use orange or papaya.
  • Garlic: I suggest using three garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Herbs: Ingredients like cilantro and thyme balance the sweet and spicy elements in the sauce.
  • White Vinegar: Vinegar preserves the sauce and enhances the flavor. Use distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Brown Sugar: Counter the heat with warm brown sugar.
  • Spices: Finish my Caribbean pepper sauce recipe with kosher salt, coarse ground pepper, and ground cumin.

Additions and Substitutions

Caribbean hot sauces are known for having a vibrant flavor and a fiery kick, often featuring a combination of spicy peppers, aromatic herbs, tangy citrus, and various spices. However, recipes vary depending on the region, and ingredients like bell peppers, carrots, fruits, or rum are popular additions.

How to Make Caribbean Style Hot Sauce

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Step 2: Transfer the mixture to an airtight container, and enjoy!

Caribbean Hot Sauce in a glass jar with shrimp skewers in the background.

Expert Tips

  • If you’re sensitive to spice, remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers, as that’s where most of the spiciness comes from. Also, I recommend wearing gloves and washing your hands when handling spicy chiles.
  • Use a food processor or blender to process the ingredients into a smooth sauce. For a chunkier texture, pulse the ingredients briefly. Begin with small amounts of liquid, such as vinegar and lime juice, and gradually add more until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Use the Caribbean hot sauce in moderation until you are familiar with the heat level. It is easier to add more sauce than it is to get rid of spiciness once it is added.

If you enjoy this sauce, pair it with one of these dinner recipes!  

Caribbean Hot Sauce in a glass jar with shrimp skewers in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Caribbean hot sauce is known for its fiery spice and rich flavor. Crafted from peppers like Scotch bonnet or habanero, the sauce brightens grilled beef or chicken, tacos, and salads. You can also use it as a marinade for meat and vegetables or stir a small amount of the hot sauce into soup and stew for a spicy kick.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Store the leftover hot sauce in an airtight jar for six months, thanks to the acidity of the fresh lime and pineapple.
  • Freeze: Transfer the hot sauce to a freezer-safe container or bag, taking care to remove any excess air. The hot sauce freezes for six months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Caribbean sauce made of?

Caribbean hot sauce combines ingredients like hot peppers such as scotch bonnets, habaneros, or jalapeños blended into a sauce. Other additions include vinegar, onions, garlic, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Most of these hot sauces are bright orange or reddish, and they can range from moderately spicy to very hot.

Is Caribbean sauce hot?

The spiciness of Caribbean hot sauce varies based on the type of pepper you use and how many. This recipe is hot, and I mean hot-hot because of the scotch bonnets (or habaneros). If you’re worried about the spice level, I recommend starting with fewer peppers and adjusting as you go.

More Sauce Recipes:

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Caribbean Hot Sauce in a glass jar with shrimp skewers in the background.

Caribbean Hot Sauce

Tressa Jamil
Elevate grilled meat and tacos with fiery homemade Caribbean hot sauce made with fresh scotch bonnets, pineapple, herbs, spices, and aromatics.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salsa, Sauce
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 22 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 2-3 scotch bonnets or habanero peppers, roughly chopped
  • ½ white onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • lime juice, 1 lime
  • tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
Instructions
 
  • Combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to an airtight container, and enjoy!
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • If you’re sensitive to spice, remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers, as that’s where most of the spiciness comes from. Also, I recommend wearing gloves and washing your hands when handling spicy chiles.
  • Use a food processor or blender to process the ingredients into a smooth sauce. For a chunkier texture, pulse the ingredients briefly. Begin with small amounts of liquid, such as vinegar and lime juice, and gradually add more until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Use the Caribbean hot sauce in moderation until you are familiar with the heat level. It is easier to add more sauce than it is to get rid of spiciness once it is added.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 2 Tablespoons | Calories: 22 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Sodium: 293 mg | Potassium: 47 mg | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 42 IU | Vitamin C: 11 mg | Calcium: 10 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating