Caribbean Habanero Hot Sauce

We believe that there is a hot sauce for everything: Cholula gets drizzled over hummus, El Yucateco “Green Monster” gets added to Mexican and pork dishes, and Sriracha gets added to, well, everything else. Make that almost everything: our homemade habanero hot sauce lends a tropical vibe to chicken and fish dishes, and with this recipe, you get enough of a supply to last you at least a few months. It starts sweet, with the faintest hit of curry, and, depending on how hot you prepare it, finishes with either a punch to the tastebuds, or a soft, slow burn.

The heat is completely up to you. If you don’t like things too hot, thoroughly remove the seeds and ribs from the habanero. When handling cut habaneros, always, always wear gloves or a plastic bag around your hand. This isn’t overly cautious food safety nonsense. It is really, really important. Our friend Missy swears she had a spicy thumb for a month after cutting habaneros, and you don’t know just how often you unconsciously touch your face and eyes until you do it with habanero hands. It burns like crazy, and the oils aren’t water soluble, so getting the burning to stop can be difficult. Be smart. Wear gloves.

If you like a little heat in your hot sauce, try leaving some of the ribs and seeds intact. I suggest, for your first batch, leaving three habaneros intact, and stripping the ribs and seeds out of the remaining nine peppers using a spoon. As a yardstick, leaving six of the peppers whole renders the sauce almost unusable.

Caribbean Habanero Hot Sauce
Yields 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 15 min
34 calories
8 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
63 g
358 g
6 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 34
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 358mg
Total Carbohydrates 8g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 6g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 can of diced tomatoes, including liquid (14.5 oz)
  2. 1 bottle of rice vinegar (12 oz)
  3. 1 1/2 cups of grated carrots
  4. 1 cup of diced white onion
  5. 1/4 cup of yellow mustard
  6. 1/3 cup of sugar
  7. 2 teaspoons of salt
  8. 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  9. 12 small Habanero peppers, seeded with ribs removed.
  10. 2 teaspoons curry powder
  11. 1 cup of water
  12. 5 cloves minced garlic
  1. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan.
  2. Cover and simmer over low heat for three hours.
  3. Let cool, and puree in food processor or blender until smooth.
  4. Pour into plastic squeeze bottles and store in refrigerator.

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.


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