A Caribbean Hot Sauce to Warm You Up
We love to try new things. Experimenting with new ingredients makes our work fun. Our latest new ingredient is culantro. That’s not a typo. Culantro, not cilantro. Lousy name, right? I think it deserves something more interesting than one letter off from cilantro, so let’s call it by its Caribbean name, Shado Beni.
If you are a cilantro lover like me, you will go crazy for Shado Beni. If you are one of the cilantro haters – stop reading and go get some therapy already. You need help. Like its cousin cilantro, Shado Beni has an aroma I would describe as crisp, fresh and GREEN. So why not just use the more common and easy to find cilantro? The magic is in the staying power of Shado Beni. Cilantro is best used as a final touch to a dish. As soon as you cook it, its flavor disappears. Not so with Shado Beni. Use it in marinades and sauces and that wonderful fresh green taste lasts.
This week we prepared it as a sauce and paired with our fried pork dish, chicharron. It is great on vegetables, pork, chicken, fish and it even perks up scrambled eggs beautifully.
To make Shado Beni sauce, you will need:
1 bunch of shado beni (if your grocery store does not carry it, try an Asian super market, like H Mart)
Juice of 1 lime
1 hot pepper (Here you have options: for a milder sauce, use a jalapeno and remove the seeds. If you can take the heat, use a Scotch Bonnet, Rocoto, or Habanero. If you’re insane, use a Ghost pepper)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of mild olive oil (you can substitute water here, but oil is better)
3 cloves of garlic
Simply whiz up all of the ingredients in a blender. Adjust the ratios according to your taste. This should keep in your refrigerator for about three days. Use it on everything.