Food - Drink
What Makes Piri-Piri Sauce Unique?
By NIKITA EPHANOV
Most of us are familiar with sriracha and Tabasco, but piri-piri, an Afro-Portuguese hot sauce, deserves recognition as well. Piri-piri is sweet, tangy, salty, and spicy, and the sauce is made with African bird's eye chilies, which carry around 150,000 Scoville units; the serious heat is tempered with various other ingredients.
Piri-piri has no traditional fixed recipe or ingredient ratios, but commonly includes oil, plus vinegar, garlic, onion, lemon, paprika, oregano, and/or tarragon, in addition to chilies. The chilies used to make the sauce were popularized by Portuguese settlers in Africa, who carried peppers from the New World back to the continent.
Both settlers and local East Africans embraced piri-piri sauce first, but it is now enjoyed in other global cuisines as well. To make the sauce on your own, blend a handful of chilies with up to a cup of olive oil, plus flavorings like lemon, garlic, then let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.
Piri-piri sauce is most famously used for piri-piri chicken; the peppery mixture works wonders as both a marinade and topping for chicken, but other proteins also work well. The sauce can also add some spice and complexity to anything you can think of, including tomato sauce, mayo spreads, noodles, eggs, and more.