Recipe: 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 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 Tbsp. sea salt
  • Water, as needed


  1. Combine grated carrots, onion, peppers, and garlic in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and mix thoroughly. Pound with a Cabbage Crusher or pounding tool to encourage the liquid to come out of the vegetables.
  2. Transfer vegetables to a quart jar and push down firmly. Add water as needed to bring the level to 2 inches above the vegetables
  3. If necessary, weigh vegetables down under the brine to keep them submerged.
  4. Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
  5. Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor is achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
  6. Once chilero is finsihed culturing, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage.

At A Glance