Kitchen Notes

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Sauce Ti Malice

Hot Sauce Field Guide

As the makers of the Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, you can say we take hot sauce pretty seriously. Our love for all things sauced, combined with the flavor and heat of chili peppers inspired us to trek the globe in search of the best hot sauce recipes. This journey led us to create one of our most popular products at The Chili Lab, The Hot Sauce Field Guide.

The pocket-sized Hot Sauce Field Guide brings culture from around the world directly into your kitchen. Each recipe has a unique backstory, clear instructions, and is absolutely delicious. Here's a sample of what you can expect in this handy cookbook. 


History of Sauce Ti Malice


According to Haitian folklore, there once were two friends, Bouki and Ti Malice. Every day around lunchtime, Bouki would show up at Ti Malice’s door to say hello, and Ti Malice, being a hospitable friend, would offer to share his lunch with his unexpected guest.

After weeks of sharing his lunch with Bouki, Ti Malice decides to trick his mooch of a friend by preparing a dish that was doused in a very spicy hot sauce he’d made. Bouki tasted the food and loved it, shouting all over town “Try the sauce Ti Malice made for me!” The name stuck, as did Bouki’s lunch routine. In Haiti, sauce ti malice always accompanies griot, a fried pork dish. It would taste equally delicious on carnitas, or even a steak.


How to Make Sauce Ti Malice


Yield: 2 cups


🌶 1 teaspoon olive oil
🌶 1 small onion, chopped
🌶 1 garlic clove, minced
🌶 1 cup chopped bell peppers (a mix of red and green)
🌶 3 fresh habanero chilies, chopped
🌶 2 tablespoons tomato paste
🌶 Sea Salt or The Chili Lab Péquin Chili Salt
🌶 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or vinegar brine from pickled peppers)


In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When it’s shimmering, add the onion and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, bell peppers, and habaneros and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and stir to coat the vegetables.

Cook until the mixture looks dry, 2 minutes. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, using a spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly. Let cool, and transfer to a container; if you prefer a smooth sauce, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend before storing.

Loved this sauce? Don't blame you! There's plenty more where that came from in our Hot Sauce Field Guide!

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Piri Piri Sauce

Also called “peri peri,” this sauce straddles two continents. It originated in Africa and is named for a pepper that grows wild in the south-central part of the continent (piri is the Swahili word for pepper).

Piri Piri Pepper

Then it traveled to Portugal by way of early traders, where it’s become synonymous with a beloved dish, peri peri chicken. This recipe falls somewhere between the two versions and can be prepared as a marinade and a sauce.

Yield: 1/2 cup

  • 1/2 ounce dried piri piri chilies (or pequin chilies, if piri piris are unavailable)
  • Zest, finely grated, and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chili, seeds and stem removed, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 fresh bay leaf, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or The Chili Lab Pequin Chili Salt 

Place the dried chilies in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain the chilies and finely chop. To use as a marinade: combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub on chicken or shrimp and let sit in the refrigerator for one hour before cooking. To use as a sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add ½ to 1 cup water, depending on the desired consistency. Transfer to a lidded container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Love to make your own hot sauce? Step up and try our Homemade Hot Sauce Kit!

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Harissa

This red pepper condiment is ubiquitous on the tables of restaurants and homes alike in its native Tunisia, and nearby countries including Algeria, Libya and Morocco. But it has made serious inroads in the States as well, appearing with regularity on the menus of top restaurants, and on supermarket shelves. Use it as a marinade on chicken or lamb, mix it into stir-fries, or whip it with goat cheese for a snack.


  • 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 sun-dried tomato
  • 3 ounces whole dried chiles, such as guajillo or New Mexico
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, add the tomato and the whole dried chilies. Cover with boiling water and set a plate inside the bowl to keep the chilies submerged. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then drain, and remove the stems from the chilies. Place the rehydrated chilies and tomato in a blender. Add the roasted bell pepper, garlic, shallot, coriander, cumin, and caraway. Turn on the blender and add the olive oil in a steady stream until thoroughly combined. Season the mixture with salt. Store in airtight glass jars in the refrigerator. The harissa will keep for one month.

Recipe by The Chili Lab. 

Image by Bon Appetite. 

You love making your own hot sauce? Let's take it to the next step. We have everything you need here: Homemade Hot Sauce Kit. 

Kimchi Stew

If you have yet to experience the magic that is gochujang, allow this recipe to be your guide. The slightly fermented red pepper paste adds dimension to the fiery, funky kimchi, while silken tofu and pork belly add richness. This dish is perfect for a cold day when you're craving something cozy but not overly heavy.  

Read more

Master Class: Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Earlier this week, we shared our recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate [link], and in the process of testing and drinking a few glasses, we decided we loved the flavors so much that we’d apply them to a pie (it is the week before Thanksgiving, after all).

This recipe is built off of a chocolate pie recipe from an old community cookbook we found in Texas. We love it for its ease (it’s a dump-and-stir deal), and consistent results. We kicked it up with the addition of chilies, vanilla and cinnamon, and a cornmeal crust that adds texture while giving a nod to the importance of cornmeal in Mexican cooking.

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Introducing the Hot Sauce Cookbook

Being that we’re devoted to all things chilies, it should come as no surprise that we consider ourselves hot sauce aficionados. From basic to fermented, from harissa to nam prik, we’re big fans of basically any chili condiment you can throw at us. So we finally decided to gather all of our findings and favorites in one place.

That’s right: it’s time to meet The Chili Lab’s Hot Sauce Field Guide! This petite manual has everything you need to know about diving into making hot sauce at home, with carefully tested recipes that span the globe. It’s the perfect gift for the cooks in your life and (if you’re thinking way ahead) will make a killer stocking stuffer when the holidays roll around.

Don’t miss out; order your copy now!

Bloody Mary Variations

For every brilliant Bloody Mary variation we’ve tried, there have been 10 others that have made us cringe. It’s entirely too easy for this cocktail to jump the shark; the garnish game alone can resemble a salad bar in the wrong hands.

One of the easiest ways to experiment within the confines of simplicity, however, is to try your bloody mary with different chili sources: instead of Tabasco, try Sriracha or harissa, then match the condiments accordingly. Here are some of our favorite flavor variations.

  • Harissa and preserved lemon (garnished with Moroccan olives)
  • Sriracha and lime with a brown sugar rim
  • Gojuchang (garnished with kimchee)

Master Class: Bloody Mary

Whether you love it or hate it, the Bloody Mary is a fixture of brunch menus everywhere. And it relies on--what else?--the flavor of chilies to give it that trademark bite. Credit for the Bloody Mary goes to Ferdinand Petiot, a bartender who came up with the drink while working at Harry’s Bar in Paris. He later brought the cocktail to America after the end of Prohibition, changing the name to the Red Snapper at the request of his bosses at the St. Regis hotel in New York.

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How to Dry Your Own Chilies

With pepper plants in gardens and farms across the country starting to get heavy with fruit, it’s time to start thinking about preserving the glut of chili season. We’ll be making plenty of dishes and condiments with our fresh peppers, from pico de gallo to harissa. But we’ll also be holding some back to dry for later use.

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