Fresh, hot peppers of any variety to fill a quart jar
1.5 tbsp sea salt
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 shallot or 1/2 onion
Herbs and spices of your choosing!
Remove stems and either slice peppers in half to de-seed, or puncture the whole peppers in a few places using a toothpick or a small knife’s tip. Dissolve 1.5 tbsp of sea salt into two cups of filtered water. If using seasonings, place in the bottom of the quart jar. Pack peppers as tightly as possible, leaving an inch of headspace from the top. Pour the brine over, covering the peppers completely. Use a weight of some kind to keep everything submerged. Cover jar with an airlock lid or loose-fitting lid and leave the jar in a cool place (out of direct sunlight) for 2 - 6 weeks (or longer) to ferment.
Drain and reserve the brine. Place peppers and garlic in a blender or food processor and puree. Add 1 tablespoon of brine (if needed) at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Bottle as is, or strain the puree with a food mill or a fine-mesh conical sieve to remove seeds & skins to achieve a more pourable consistency for woozy-style bottles. Adjust flavor, if needed, with a splash of vinegar or lime juice. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy for 1 year or more.
NOTE: If straining using a food mill or sieve, the remaining chili “paste” of skins and seeds can be saved and used in cooking or other fermentation projects. Add it to soups & braises or use in making kimchi. Not only is it a great way to reuse an ingredient, it will help to jumpstart the fermentation of your kimchi.