The addition of hot sauce to oysters can be a slippery slope. Some are so strong that the oyster only becomes a slippery texture absent of ocean spray. Sometimes, the hot sauce can have so much vinegar that the oyster becomes a salt pillow and all it leaves you with is a set of flared nostrils. As we have presented before, garnishing any oyster is a delicate balancing act, as you want to impart creative flavor profiles without compromising the flavor or texture of the meat. This sauce does just that, with enough heat and acid to elevate the savory sweetness of a northern oyster (we chose Raspberry Points), but is not so strong that it renders the bivalve bland. We also topped the sauce with a few shavings of intensely aromatic buddha’s hand citron, balancing out the final profile.
10 ea. Red Chinese long peppers, chopped roughly
10 ea. Red Thai chilis, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic
1T Whole Coriander seed
1t. Mustard powder
Rice wine vinegar
1/2t. xantham gum (optional)
Buddha's hand citron, lemon zest (optional)
Place the peppers, cranberries, garlic, salt, sugar, and coriander in a large glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid (such as a mason jar). Pour room temperature water over the ingredients to cover and stir to combine. Leave out at room temperature for 5 to 7 days, allowing air to escape the jar at least once daily. You will notice efficient fermentation when there are bubbles rising to the top of the jar.
Once the fermentation takes place in the jar, strain the solids from the liquids, saving the liquid. Place the solids in a blender with the mustard powder, xanthan gum, a splash of vinegar and just enough of the fermented liquid so the peppers blend. Puree the mixture on high for a few minutes for a ketchup-like consistency. Taste the sauce and add more vinegar, agave, or salt to taste. Bottle the sauce in airtight containers and refrigerate. The sauce will last for a few months, if you don’t finish it before then! The sauce pairs well with mineral and savory oysters, but remember: a little goes a long way.