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Puerto Rican Pique Recipe

Find a place for this Puerto Rican staple in your hot sauce repertoire using gentleman peppers or any small red chiles.

| September 2019

Photo from Adobe Stock/besjunior

Makes 3 cups
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free

The aji caballero, or “gentleman pepper,” is hot and key to this sauce. Most Puerto Rican homes and restaurants have some form of this sauce on the table, and it’s made as many different ways as there are people who make it. If you can’t find caballeros, small red chiles can be substituted.


  • 1 cup caballero or other small red chiles
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 12 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup purified water


In a 20-ounce bottle, combine the chiles, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, and salt. Pour in the vinegar using a funnel and top with the water. Seal tightly and let sit in a cool place for at least 4 days before using. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Also from The Hot Sauce Cookbook:

More on creating your own hot sauces:

hot-sauce-cookbookThe recipes in The Hot Sauce Cookbook will have you wiping your brow, chugging water, and helping yourself to seconds. Using a variety of chiles and easy-to-find ingredients like vinegar and red pepper flakes, The Hot Sauce Cookbook shows you how to prepare your favorite sauces and pair them with authentic regional recipes. The Hot Sauce Cookbook gives you clear instructions for every step of the way, from choosing chile peppers, to stocking your kitchen, to storing the finished product. The Hot Sauce Cookbook lets you cook some of the world’s spiciest dishes, with 49 hot sauce recipes from around the world; 27 food recipes, such as Cajun Barbecue Sauce, Puerto Rican Pique, Korean Barbecued Beef, and Grilled Chicken Satay; and profiles of 29 types of chiles and their heat levels. With this book, you won’t need to go to a restaurant or a grocery store to enjoy great spicy flavors — they’ll be waiting for you in your fridge.

Excerpt from The Hot Sauce Cookbook: The Book of Fiery Salsa and Hot Sauce Recipes , published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2014 by Callisto Media. All rights reserved.



May 16-17, 2020
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