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Lacto-fermented Chilero


Sweet from the carrots, spicy from the hot pepper, this Costa Rican-inspired condiment isn’t quite the spicy hot sauce brand from Costa Rica that goes by the same name. But it’s got its own kick and tang that make it a perfect accompaniment to vegetables and meats.


  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • Water, as needed


  1. Combine the grated carrots, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic in a medium bowl. Sprinkle over salt and mix into vegetables. You can pound them a bit with a wooden spoon or potato masher to encourage the liquid to come out of the vegetables.
  2. Move vegetables to a quart jar and push down firmly. Note the level of the brine above the vegetables. If it isn’t at least 2 inches, add water as needed. There should be enough salt in the vegetables to not necessitate any additional salt.
  3. Weigh vegetables down so that they remain under the brine. Place lid on tightly and add airlock, if using. If not using an airlock be sure to burp the jar daily in order to release pent up gases.
  4. Ferment at room temperature for 3 to 12 days, depending on preference.
  5. Transfer to cold storage.



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