Homemade 'Rooster' Sauce 24.000

Dayna Smith for The Washington Post

Jan 22, 2014

Green chili peppers can be used, but the red ones make a nicer-looking sauce.

It's smart to don food-safe gloves before you handle the chilies.

Make Ahead: The mixture needs to marinate (brine) overnight at room temperature. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to several months.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 servings; makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, any green sprouts removed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces fresh, spicy/hot chili peppers, preferably red ones (see headnote)
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or more as needed (may substitute 2 tablespoons palm sugar)

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Combine the vinegar, garlic and salt in a quart jar or glass container with a tight-fitting lid, swirling the mixture so the salt dissolves.

Put on food-safe gloves, then stem the chilies and coarsely chop them. Transfer to the jar or container, including the seeds. Cover and marinate on the kitchen counter overnight.

Pour the mixture into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the honey; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes, being careful to avoid inhaling the fumes directly. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.

Transfer the mixture to a blender. Puree for about 5 minutes to form a smooth, orange-red sauce -- again, being careful not to inhale direct fumes. Use a spoon to taste; add honey as needed and blend to incorporate.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe on Food52.com.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.