A lovely easy Chinese style fermented chili sauce, also known as chopped chili sauce (剁椒) or Hunan Chili Sauce.

If you are familiar with Hunan cuisine, you will be amazed by how many peppers they used. Hunan dishes are even hotter than most of Szechuan dishes in my mind. As a big fan of homemade sauces and paste, I love to introduce this magic and easy to make fermented chili sauce.

Fermented chili sauce|chinasichuanfood.com

Traditional Hunan Chili sauce only use pepper, Chines wine and salt. But we have a modernized version I love to use for couple of years by adding some garlic and ginger, even some Sichuan peppercorns. I highly recommend you making a small bottom with Sichuan peppercorns as a test.

Cook’s Note

1.I use two types of pepper, one is our local large red peppers which have a middle level hotness and more juice. The other one is Chinese small peppers (Facing the heaven) which is the hottest in China. This combination works fine together.

2.For the container, most of the air-tight container can work fine. You can choose a glass container or an earth container. The fermentation needs 3-7 days depending on different temperatures.

3.If you do not want the sauce to be so hot, you can choose milder chili peppers. But I do not recommend removing the seeds, as this will decrease the aroma.

4.The key step of the sauce is to make sure that all the containers, cutting tool, cutting board and your hand are cleaned.

5.Longer fermentation makes the sauce more watery. Following is the sauce after 7 days fermentation.

6. Whenever you want to use the sauce, use sterilized tools. As long as the container is clean, it can be kept up to 2 or 3 months in fridge even no preservatives added.

Fermented chili sauce|chinasichuanfood.com


1.Remove the ends of the peppers. Be careful and discard any rotten peppers. Wash carefully to remove any dirts on surface.

2.Place under sunshine and until dry completely. If you are in hurry, use kitchen pepper to remove the water.

Fermented chili sauce|chinasichuanfood.com

3.Place the fresh peppers and garlic (if you are using) into a blend and blend with stops. Keep the pepper as larger pieces. If you blend the peppers in two batches, I recommend blending one batch finer and the other batch roughly to create different textures.

4.Mix in salt and white spirit. Place under sunshine, exposure for 1 day. Then covered and place in fridge for about 1 week. Air-tight container (both glass and clay) work perfectly with this chili paste.

fermented chili paste|chinasichuanfood.com
Fermented chili sauce|chinasichuanfood.com

Chinese Fermented Chili Paste|Hunan Chili Sauce

A common Chinese style fermented chili paste, also known as Hunan chili sauce
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Calories: 321kcal


  • 800 g fresh peppers
  • 60 – 65 g salt
  • 3 tbsp. Chinese white spirit
  • 1 garlic bulk , optional
  • 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorn , optional but recommended


  • Wash the peppers and remove tops and then sun dry completely.
  • Place the fresh peppers and garlic into a blend and blend with stops. Keep the pepper as larger pieces.
  • Mix in salt and white spirit. Transfer to air-tight container. If you want, mix in some Sichuan peppercorns.
  • Place under sunshine, exposure for 1 or 2 days. Then place in fridge for about 1 week.


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 25265mg | Potassium: 2576mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 7615IU | Vitamin C: 1149.6mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 8.5mg
fermented chili paste after 7 days fermentation|Chinasichuanfood.com

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  1. 5 stars
    Wow you are such a great cook. Bless your hands. This paste looks so good. How is it eaten? As a side dish? Or to flavour a dish .. thank you for your recipes.

    1. It’s pronounced “bai jiu.” It literally translates into “white alcohol”. If you have a Chinese grocery store near you, you might be able to find it. Any clear, high proof alcohol would probably work.

    1. I use two types, Chinese facing heaven (similar to Thai chili pepper) and middle size peppers (similar to Jalapeno). You can use your similar type to control the hotness.

  2. How would you describe the spiciness? Is it a type that hits you in the back of your throat, linger in the mouth, slow building, etc.? I’m okay at some types of spiciness and horrible with others. Just curious!

  3. Where did you get the clay pot from? Can I purchase it online? This looks so amazing, can’t wait to try it out! love your site.

    1. I purchase it from a small homemade craft store. They are quite pretty so I use it as my keeper for sauces. But I am sorry there is no extra purchasing channel for this clay pot. There are larger ones on amazon.