If you’ve ever eaten with Tibetans, you know that it is rare to have a meal that does not involve sepen, Tibetan hot sauce. Tibetan food itself tends to be mild, but that doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t fire up almost every dish on the plate with dollops of sepen. This can include pretty much anything, from momos to breakfast foods to things like tingmo (steamed rolls), and shogo katsa (spicy potatoes).
There are a wide variety of different kinds of sepen. One style we particularly love is a thick, chunky version we learned from our friends Nyima la and Kelsang la, which has no tomato and is essentially pure red chilis with some great flavorings.
The fast, easy and extremely flavorful version you see here comes from our dear friend, chef Tsering Tamding, who shows you how to whip up a quick batch in the video below. Tsering la’s sepen is a smooth, non-traditional version, with a tasty tomato and celery base.
Be careful, it is very spicy! If you would like less spice, then reduce the amount of chili and increase the tomato and celery.
Video: Chef Tsering Tamding Teaches you How to Make Sepen
The hot, hot, hot final product: