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17 January 2018

Hawaiian chili pepper water is an incredibly popular, traditional Hawaiian condiment or hot sauce made with water, vinegar, and spicy chili peppers. Here is the recipe to make some at home.

Readers and visitors to Chili Pepper Madness send me recipes and ideas for content all the time. Mostly I get emails asking to identify a pepper from a photo that someone grew in their garden – glad to help! – or asking questions about a particular recipe, but sometimes I get a recipe that intrigues the heck out of me.

Like this one. Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water.

Say what? I’ll be honest. I’ve never heard of the stuff, but when a cool guy named Glenn emailed me asking if I’ve ever tried it, we got into an interesting conversation about it that got me desperately wanting to make some of my own.

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water - Recipe

Interestingly, Glenn is an Alaskan with a winter home in Maui, and his neighbor turned him onto the stuff, so I must thank both Glenn and his neighbor for introducing me to this wonderful condiment/hot sauce. That’s right, I’m not exactly sure if I’d call it a condiment or a hot sauce.

Hawaiian chili pepper water is VERY MUCH like a watered down Pique, which is a Puerto Rican condiment made primarily with vinegar and hot peppers. See my Puerto Rican Hot Sauce – Pique Recipe here.

Glenn gave me his basic recipe, which I’ve altered a little bit to my own tastes, though in my research, I’ve discovered there are many variations, as would be expected.

What is Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water?

Hawaiian chili pepper water is a combination condiment & hot sauce, basically a mixture of water and vinegar that has been infused with chili pepper flavor and heat.

At it’s core, Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water is made from 8 ounces water, 2 ounces vinegar, rock sea salt and Hawaiian chili peppers, which are quite hot.

It’s fairly simple in that you combine the ingredients and let them sit until the liquid is properly infused with the peppers, which again is very much like Pique.

Variations include adding slices of garlic and/or ginger (which you can also smash to release the juices more), as well as a splash of soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce for added flavor. From there, the sky is the limit! I’ve even seen a fermented pepper version.

As you use up the infused liquid, you can easily top it off with more water/vinegar to keep the bottle going.

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water Uses?

Use Hawaiian chili pepper water to add some zing to your favorite dishes.

Glenn says he sees the stuff in local kitchens and on food trucks, and he’s seen locals sipping shots of the stuff. He likes to use it in rice dishes, for dipping steak, dashing over grilled fish or any sliced meats. For me, I love the flavor.

It has quite a thin consistency, as would be expected with the water content, but go ahead and pour some into a small bowl for dipping to get a bit of heat and added flavor, or simple drizzle it over your finished meals.

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water Benefits

The Health Benefits of Chili Peppers are widely known. They are high in Vitamin C and help protect your heart. Even watered down, you’re sure to receive good nutrients as well as flavor.

I actually have a trip planned to Hawaii in the fairly near future, so I can’t wait to try the many local versions! Pumped!

If you are unable to obtain Hawaiian chili peppers, use either Thai chilies or any number of hot red chili peppers, such as cayenne, birds eye, or even red serrano peppers. You have numerous options for a similar sauce.

Check out These Related Recipes:

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water - Recipe

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 1 vote
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water Recipe
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water - Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Hawaiian chili pepper water is an incredibly popular, traditional Hawaiian condiment or hot sauce made with water, vinegar, and spicy chili peppers. Here is the recipe to make some at home.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30
Calories: 1 kcal
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces water
  • 2 ounces white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Hawaiian rock sea salt you can sub in any sea salt or kosher salt
  • Hawaiian chili peppers sliced (add anywhere from 3-20, or as many as you can fit - you CAN sub in other spicy chili peppers)
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2-3 fresh ginger slices
  • Splash of soy sauce and/or Worcestershire sauce if desired
Instructions
  1. Add the ingredients to a small pan and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat immediately and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, cool, then transfer to a sterilized bottle. Use as needed. The longer it sits, the more the peppers and other flavors will infuse the water/vinegar mixture.
Recipe Notes

This will keep in the refrigerator for about a year or so.
Heat Factor: Medium. You'll get some good zestiness with this recipe!

Nutrition Facts
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water - Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1
% Daily Value*
Sodium 78mg 3%
Potassium 1mg 0%
Vitamin C 0.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water - Recipe

 

Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water - Hawaiian chili pepper water is an incredibly popular, traditional Hawaiian condiment or hot sauce made with water, vinegar, and spicy chili peppers. Here is the recipe to make some at home. | ChiliPepperMadness.com #ChiliWater #HotSauce #Hawaiian #Condiment

10 comments

  1. Mike Fabian

    Mike, my favorite mex restaurant in Chicago serves Nayarit(think Baja Beach seafood) style habanero water like sauce that I’d like to make. I just harvested a bumber crop of fresh habs from my garden, do you have a recipe for something like this ? Thanks and love your site.

    Mike

  2. I’ve been growing peppers and making hot sauce for a few years and this is one tasty looking sauce.
    I have a couple questions about it – when the level of the liquid goes down, do you top it up with more water and vinegar?
    If not, when the liquid gets below the level of the peppers and they are exposed to air, do they not go moldy?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Glen. Yes, the peppers should definitely stay submerged or could go bad if left exposed to air. You can top it off with more vinegar/water solution. That’s how it’s done with Puerto Rican Pique – the maker just keeps tossing new peppers/ingredients and topping it off at time goes by. Enjoy!

  3. I’m going to make this Chili Water today using ghost peppers. I have been doing lots of research on pepper sauces/salsas because I was gifted a variety of lots of the worlds hottest peppers and your site is awesome. I used to be an executive chef so I have a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to fermenting and making sauces, but this website is so very informational for a fellow chili head thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge with the world.

  4. I made some with fresh garlic, ginger and Thai chili peppers from the farmers’ market near Diamond Head. . Sliced up only 6, about 2″ long each. It was plenty hot enough after 24 hours in the fridge. An’ dat buggah was ono! (Translation: It tasted very good!)
    Also used Alaea sea salt, which has added minerals from the red Hawai’ian clay it’s mixed with. You can get it online from Amazon or Target. They charge about $5/pound, much more than we pay here, but once you try it, you’ll use it in all your recipes. Just be sure to get the “Old Time” brand from Hawai’i, not the stuff from San Francisco.
    Aloha!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s GREAT, Alan. Thanks for the tip on the Alaea salt! I’ll have to get me some.

  5. How can I find hawaiian chili peppers outside of hawaii? Thank you!

    REPLY: Mike, you’d need to look online to find a seller or attempt to grow them yourself. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  6. I just had something much like this in Martinique (so probably a Créole recipe). But I couldn’t taste any vinegar at all. Does this have a vinegar taste? Is vinegar necessary to preserve it or could it be omitted?

    REPLY: Karen, the vinegar will definitely let it keep longer and will add flavor, though there is more water than vinegar. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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