El Rey Hot Sauce

El Rey  

Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce

By Chingon Hot Sauce

Yield: makes 2 1/2 cups


  • 1 lb. Carolina Reaper yellow chilies
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice


  1. Rinse the chiles in a colander under hot running water, pat dry. Transfer chiles to the bowl of a food processor along with the salt. Process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until finely chopped, about 1 minute.
  2. Transfer the chile mixture to a glass jar. Cover and let sit in a cool place to ripen for 2 days, without stirring.
  3. Uncover and stir in the vinegar and the fresh lime juice. Cover and let sit in a cool place for 5 days to let age and allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Pour sauce into a glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for up to 6 months. Shake before each use.

El Rey is a single batch hot sauce made by Chingon Hot Sauce of San Diego with yellow Carolina Reaper chilis.  Carolina reaper chilis are a cross between Ghost and Habanero peppers the heat of which reaches 1,569,300 on the Scoville scale.  The melding and ripening in the recipe refer to fermentation.  This is a unique manner of making hot sauce as most are simply cooked.  Fermentation allows the chilis to maintain their vibrant color while adding complexity to the flavor of the hot sauce. Fermentation also produces probiotics that are beneficial to a healthy gut. The salt and the lime juice not only make the natural flavors of the yellow reaper stand out they enhance the flavors of the foods you add the hot sauce to.

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Clyde Van Arsdall