Shito Pepper Sauce can spice up even the plainest dishes. It may not be for the faint of heart, this spicy Ghanaian condiment has a strong and smokey taste with a big kick of chili; adding a rich and bold African flavor with plenty of depth and complexity.
While every household has its own recipe, this one uses traditional ingredients and cooking methods for an authentic sauce with a whole lot of heat.
First and foremost, Happy Black History Month! In honor of Celebrating Black History Month, we teamed up with some amazing Black food bloggers from around the world to create a virtual potluck.
I am happy to say that in this virtual potluck we have gathered to celebrate this special month through food in black culture.
We are sharing some of the most famous dishes that made us drool for years! I hope you are hungry.
Our first contribution was Haitian Patties, followed by the Haitian Black Rice. We are so happy to see how much this potluck grow year after year with new contributors. Be sure to see the links below.
Alongside some amazing black food bloggers from around the world, who are listed below in this post, we are happy to present to you one of the many ways to make Shito Pepper Sauce.
Pepper may be a vital component of shito sauce, but don’t stress too much about getting the exact type of pepper listed in this recipe. Really, any spicy variety will do, whether that’s Scotch bonnet, habanero, jalapeno or any other kind.
Though it won’t be quite the same, you can always feel free to choose a milder pepper too if you are concerned about the level of heat. I’d recommend starting with a medium-hot shito sauce and seeing how you get on. Remember that if you use dried peppers, these will usually be significantly hotter than fresh.
The fish may seem like an unusual addition to this sauce, but unless you are vegetarian or vegan, don’t be tempted to leave it out. It contributes hugely to that irresistible umami flavor that makes this Shito Pepper Sauce so delicious.
While you may not be able to find it in your regular store, you can usually find dried fish or shrimp powder in Asian or African grocery stores, or alternatively you can buy it online.
Make It Vegan
If you don’t eat animal products, you can still enjoy this tasty sauce. Instead of the dried fish, try it out with some nori and mushrooms ground into a powder instead.
Which Oil To Use?
This famous Ghanaian hot chili condiment is often made with palm oil. There are a variety of ways to make this dish.
This condiment is most used with fish and meat, it is versatile as it can be served as a side to most African or Haitian dishes.
If you’d like to spice things up with your salads, consider adding this to your favorite vinaigrette.
This recipe is made with palm oil because of the deep rich flavor. The red tone help to create a warm inviting hue to the Shito sauce.
The use of palm oil date as far back as 5,000 years. Palm oil is from E. guineensis, also known as African Oil Palm. This oil has long been accepted in the West and Central African countries, and is widely used as a cooking oil.
It is high in saturated fat. We highly recommend you use this oil sparingly.
Saturated fat is one of the most unhealthy fats, next to trans fat. Fats from saturated or trans fat usually become solid at room temperature. Other saturated fats and trans fats consist of:
- Coconut oils
- Red meat
In most home cooked meals, vegetable oil is often use because it an inexpensive. This oil is often mix or a blend with different types of oils.
Avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of avocadoes. Avocado oil in can be consumed raw or used to create some of you most delicious recipes, like this marinated tomato recipe.
Au contraire to being high in saturated fats, coconut oil is considered as superfood. The fatty acids found in coconut oil can have a positive effect on your health, skin, and nails.
This well known power oil is used in cooking and sometimes for frying. It is also used in salad dressings as well as to keep our skin, hair, and nails moisturize and healthy.
What Can I Eat With Shito Pepper Sauce?
As long as you are a fan of heat, Shito Pepper Sauce can be a really versatile addition to your kitchen repertoire. Think of it as a West African version of ketchup or chilli sauce – you can serve it with meat or fish (or use it as a marinade), stirred into pasta, poured over salad or smothered on bread.
You can even add it to a cheese board as a fiery alternative to chutney. Give it a try with a few of your favorite meals and see how you like it!
How To Make This Pepper Sauce
The full recipe and ingredients are listed below. But here is a quick video guide and photo guide to make this recipe perfectly each time.
In a blender or food processor, blend the onions ginger, and peppers (picture 1).
In a heavy-based saucepan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and pepper mixture and tomato paste. Stirring continuously, cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes (picture 2 -3).
Add the parsley flakes and stir (picture 4). Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat.
Next, add the chili powder, shrimp, dried fish, salt and pepper, and water. Reduce the heat to low (picture about under “fish” and picture 6).
Cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When you see the oil at the top of the Shito, the sauce is complete. Remove the sauce from the heat, let cool, and refrigerate in an air tight container for 1 month, or longer in the freezer.
Pro Tips For Sauce Preparation
- Because this recipe is made with palm oil, it will become solid when cooled at room temperature. If the sauce become solid, simply return the heat to the stove and add increments of ¼ cup water to loosen the sauce.
- If you do not want to blend the peppers and onions, you can dice them into small pieces to create a coarse texture.
- You may use olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil to make this sauce. Note that the taste may vary depending on the oil you use.
How To Store Shito Pepper Sauce
Once made, you can store your Shito Pepper Sauce into a sterilized glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
A little goes a long way, so while it may take a bit of time to source all your ingredients and make up a batch, once it’s done it should see you through for most of the month. Plus, once you’ve stocked up on the dry ingredients you’ll be ready to make it time and time again.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Yes, Shito pepper sauce can be spicy. However, you can use a milder pepper to lessen the heat level in the sauce.
Yes. For a vegan approach consider adding ground nori and mushrooms instead of dried fish or shrimp.
Shito pepper will last up to 1 month in the refrigerator or longer in the freezer.
More Amazing Sauce
If you loved this Shito pepper sauce recipe, try one of these sauces next:
Haitian Food Pairing Suggestion
This pepper sauce is perfect when paired with some of our favorite Haitian food recipes.
More Potluck Recipes To Try
Sweet Potato & Coconut Cinnamon Rolls | Vee the Baker
Sweet Potato & Coconut Cinnamon Rolls | Vee the Baker
Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs | Whisper of Yum
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Shito Pepper Sauce
- 2 White sweet onions chopped; red onions will also work
- 3 ½ Inch Fresh Ginger Cut in small pieces
- 4 Habanero Pepper or Scotch bonet pepper
- 1 ½ Cup Palm Oil or olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
- 6 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp. Parsley Flakes
- 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 6 Oz. Ground Shrimp or ¾ cup
- 1 ½ Cup Ground Crayfish
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp. Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
- In a blender or food processor blend the onions, ginger, and peppers.In a heavy-based saucepan, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and pepper mixture and tomato paste. Stirring continuously, cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the parsley flakes and stir. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat.
- Next, add the chili powder, shrimp, dried fish, salt and pepper, and water. Reduce the heat to low.Cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.When you see the oil at the top of the Shito, the sauce is complete. Remove the sauce from the heat, let cool, and refrigerate in an air tight container for 1 month, or longer in the freezer.