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Tsering’s Tibetan Hot Sauce Recipe

This sepen recipe is as spicy and delicious as our normal hot sauce recipe, but quite different in texture and taste. Tsering Tamding’s variation here is based on tomato, and so is less chunky than Lobsang’s recipe.   See our YoWangdu hot sauce recipe featured in the New York Times dining section along with an article that quoted Lobsang Wangdu talking about Tibetan food in exile.

Tibetan hot sauce recipe

You will need a blender or food processor


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes (we used Roma tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 2 stalks of green onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for cooking

  *You can adjust the spiciness of this recipe by using less red pepper and/or more of the other ingredients.   Here’s another page about this hot sauce with a video >>


  • Roughly chop the celery, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro
  • Peel and roughly chop garlic
  • Peel and cut onion in half lengthwise, then slice fairly thin
  • Slice tomato in thinnish circles
  • Heat oil in pan on high
  • On high heat, cook garlic a few seconds, then add onion slices and stir fry about 1 minute
  • Add celery and whole red peppers, stir fry another minute
  • Add tomato slices, and stir fry for a minute or so
  • Stir in cilantro, spring onion, and salt
  • Cover and cook for about 3 minutes
  • At this point, everything should be cooked down a bit
  • Put everything in a blender or food processor until you have a sauce — stop at the thickness you like

Add this spicy sauce to anything you like, but be careful, this sepen is extremely hot!


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