In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Caribbean Lime Lemon Pepper-Sauce (hot sauce).

The sort of thick cut or chunky version of this pepper-sauce is one which takes me back to being a small fella on the islands and ‘Soup Saturdays’. That thick, ground provision laden soup mommy would make for us for lunch every Saturday. And like that version, this one will rock on your Caribbean soups and stews just as well. Along with anything you normally use hot sauces on. Can you say grilled meats and seafood?

You’ll Need…

30-40 peppers (a variety)
2 cups vinegar (plain white)
3 limes
11 lemons (divided)
3/4 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 medium bitter melon
15-20 cloves garlic
15 -20 leaves of shado beni (culantro)

Notes. I used a variety of scorching hot peppers (explained in the video below), but this will work with any one of your fav peppers. If you cannot source Shado Beni (chadon beni or culantro) cilantro makes for a great replacement.

Remove the stems off the limes and lemons and wash them thouroughly. Then cut 3 of the lemons and all limes into small pieces. Do remove any seeds you come across and discard.

Add the cut limes and lemons into a saucepan with the vinegar. Place on a medium heat until you start seeing small bubbles on the edges. As soon as that happens, turn the heat to a very gentle simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

Juice the remaining lemons and give the shado beni and garlic a rough chop. Wash the peppers and remove the seeds, then give them a rough chop too.

IMPORTANT! Wear gloves when handling these peppers – actually throughout making this pepper sauce. And do wash your hands immediately after with soap and water.

With the bitter melon you’ll need to cut it down (lengthwise) the center to remove the core (discard), then slice thin.

Place everything (including the cooked limes/lemons – allow it to cool a bit first) into your blender or food processor and puree.

Stop, scrape down the sides and continue until you have a consistency you like. For me it was smooth, but with a slight chunkiness as I like getting tiny bits of the Shadon Beni, Garlic and Bitter melon (aka caraile) when I use this spicy condiment.

Store in sterilized glass containers. It’s very important that you allow this to cure for a few days before using. As to allow those flavors to truly combine and create tasty greatness. be mindful that this is SPICY!

You can keep this in a cool spot in your kitchen, but for maximum shelf life, store in the fridge. Do not dip wet nor dirty spoons when getting some. It will last at least 3 months in the fridge.

Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

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  1. Jane
    January 2, 2022 / 8:22 pm

    I’m not sure I can find bitter melon here in Kansas USA. Can I use cucumber or zucchini in place of it?? Thanks!

    • admin
      January 3, 2022 / 9:12 am

      the water content in the cucumber and zucchini may affect the shelf life. Simply go without the bitter melon

  2. Martin
    August 20, 2021 / 11:20 pm

    Can you freeze this sauce?

  3. Dee
    February 2, 2021 / 4:17 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Will the skins of the limes, lemons and the bitter melon make this pepper sauce bitter?

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