Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water is a very traditional Hawaiian condiment used similar to hot sauce. The flavorful hot pepper water is made with Hawaiian sea salt, garlic, vinegar, chili peppers, water, and a bit of ginger. It is easy to make and perfect for those who love to eat hot foods!
Years ago, my brother Uriah, moved to Hawaii to work at an animal sanctuary to help with injured birds. His stay was supposed to be temporary… however one year has since then turned into many years. Shortly after moving to Hawaii, he met a very sweet girl named Dee that he began dating. He recently asked for her hand in marriage. She said yes and will soon be my new sister-in-law. We are very excited to have her as part of the family.
Every year for Christmas, they send my family a Hawaiian care package of delicious Hawaiian treats such as macadamia nuts, chocolates, plum wine, and cashews. Dee asked if I wanted anything special this year and I told her to send me Hawaiian Hot Sauce. She explained that Hawaiians really doesn’t use hot sauce, instead they use something called “pepper water.”
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water- What Is it?
I was immediately like, “What is Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water?” Pepper water is a condiment, similar to hot sauce, only with much less vinegar and much more water. It is spicy, garlicky, and salty. You drizzle it on anything you would a hot sauce from rice, fish, chicken, eggs, stews, vegetables. It is kind of weird when you first try it because of the water consistency, but if you like garlic and hot food, you become immediately hooked.
Dee sent me a homemade bottle that she made herself. I fell in love with it. I went through that bottle in less than a month. I decided to make a huge batch for me with enough to share with my friends. I had saved a bunch of little bottles and filled those bottles up. I gave out bottles to my foodie friends that accepted them graciously.
Tips for making Chili Pepper Water
In Hawaii, they use Hawaiian chili peppers. I can’t source them here, so I substituted Thai chili peppers. They worked great.
Some Hawaiians use ginger, some don’t. It is totally up to you to use the ginger in the recipe. It is delicious both ways. I think it truly is based on preference. I add it to my recipe.
Hawaiian sea salt is a MUST! It is NOT the same with regular salt.
Some recipes put a splash of soy sauce, sriracha, or pineapple juice to change it up. I kept it more traditional. You can add either of those in for a different flavor.
Last, some recipes use rice vinegar instead of white vinegar. I made mine with white vinegar, but I am going to try the rice vinegar next time!
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp Hawaiian Sea Salt
- 2 oz vinegar
- 12 oz water
- 1 slice ginger optional
- 4 chili peppers
- Finely chop garlic and peppers.
- Add all ingredients to pot. Cook to a boil. Boil one minute.
- Remove from heat. Cool mixture, then refrigerate. Let stand 2 to 3 days before using. Store up to 6 months in refrigerator.