I am not like some of my Tibetan friends who are crazy about eating super hot sauce (sepen). I like this one because it is pretty mild and when I was little, my aunt used to make a hot sauce like this quite often during the summer time, which was the time we could get fresh tomatoes. In the last few years I have been thinking about creating this recipe. I tried so many times to make a hot sauce like my aunt’s, and finally I made this one, which is pretty close to her original recipe. If don’t like super hot sauce but you like to eat hot sauce for the flavor, this one is for you! Yolanda and many of our American friends love it so I would love to share this with you.
- ~9 tomatoes (1 pound 6 oz): I use Roma tomatoes but you can use any kind you like.
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 hot peppers (I have used both green and red Jalapeno peppers. Any pepper okay. Test amounts to suit your wish for spiciness.)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- few sprigs of cilantro
- 1/4 cup oil (For cooking. Use any veg oil. I use Avocado or Sunflower)
Optional (very tasty!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground emma (erma/yerma/Schizuan pepper)
- Blend tomatoes, garlic, emma, and peppers in a blender or food processor.*
- Heat oil in pot until hot
- Add the blended tomato sauce to the pot and cook on medium high (8 out of 10 on our stove) until it starts to boil.
- While the tomato sauce is coming to a boil, dice your celery, and add celery and salt to the sauce.
- Let the sauce boil pretty well for about 5 minutes
- Turn stove down to medium (5 out of 10 on our stove)
- Cook another 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
- After 45 minutes, turn down a little more (4 out of 10 on our stove).
- Cook 15 more minutes or until you like the consistency. As you see in the photo above, I like most of the liquid cooked out.
- Just before done, add your roughly chopped cilantro.
- Eat it up!
*If you don’t have a blender or food processor you can boil the tomatoes ahead of time, for about 5 minutes or until the skin loosens on the tomatoes. You can then remove the tomato skins and just chop the tomato well for your sauce.
This hot sauce goes well with momos, shabalep, and lots of mixed vegetable dishes. I like to add it to mixed veggies and serve over rice.
More hot sauce recipes:
- We’re proud to say that one of our sepen recipes has been featured in the New York Times dining section along with an article that quoted Lobsang Wangdu talking about Tibetan food in exile.
- Tsering Tamding’s Hot Sauce Recipe