Costa Ricans love their sauces. From Lizano’s to the typical veggies-in-vinegar at every soda table in the country, the Ticos can’t go without adding some extra kick to their dishes. I’ve adopted a similar mentality and feel like the table is empty without a bottle or two of various flavors on the table. My morning gallo pinto just isn’t the same without the chilero, nor the egg sandwiches with Tapatio. We know what we like and we check the labels to make sure they are not infused with MSG or any other preservatives, but sometimes we just want a homemade, fresh hot sauce to use for the month.

I’ve highlighted the most basic recipe for hot sauce that I know and we used our home-grown chili peppers that we bought from our neighborhood EPA in Cariari, Belen, Costa Rica. We planted the peppers back in March along with some basil, oregano, flat-leafed parsley, chives, thyme and cherry tomatoes. Are growing everything in planters so our dogs don’t stomp on them or sprinkle them with some unwanted flavor. The trick is mixing compost with good potting soil and keeping things fertilized with compost ever other month or so. We started a compost pile when we moved in, but haven’t yielded any good rich product yet.

Here is the recipe for the Costa Rican Hot Sauce and it’s certainly hot as fire so be careful how much you use as it stays with you for some time after your finished with it.

Costa Rican Fire Sauce Ingredients

• 9 ripe chili peppers
• 6 small to medium cloves of garlic
• 1 Cup white vinegar

Costa Rican Fire Sauce Directions

1. It’s best to use gloves when slicing hot peppers to avoid burning your eyes by touching them later.
2. Slice the tops off of all the peppers and discard. Slice each pepper into 4 large pieces and place into the blender.

chili peppers and vertical blender

3. Remove the skins from the garlic cloves by smashing them first and cutting off the tiny end which is inedible. Place into the blender as well.

chili peppers in vinegar

4. Pour in the vinegar and blend well, or use a vertical blender in a tall container.

hot sauce in blender
5. Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and carefully transfer the sauce without splashing or getting the fumes in your face.

Costa Rican Fire Sauce