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Balancing a hot sauce (coriander/cilantro issue)


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#1 escherAU

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 05:51 PM

So, this is somewhat of a general question.

 

I'm reasonably experienced at balancing saltiness, acidity, sweetness etc. when it comes to cooking & hot sauce making.

 

I often add fresh basil, or parsley, oregano into my sauces (uncooked typically) in incremental amounts until I feel the taste is good. 

 

The sauce itself contains; brown sugar, honey, pickled Birdseyes (around 75), the pickling vinegar, along with some distilled white vinegar, fermented red onions (lacto-fermented with dill + cardamom), fermented garlic, cayenne powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & black pepper.

 

End result was a nicely rounded sauce, quite tart with a nice quick heat (not really a lingering heat). I didn't cook any of the ingredients as they were already fermented and/or pickled and thus the flavour profile was what I was after.

 

This is something that I haven't really experienced before though, it's with coriander (cilantro for those of you in NA). I added a small bunch of coriander (including stems) fresh into the sauce that was tasting pretty good (prob should have stopped here -- but I love an experiment). I added in what I thought was a small amount (1/4-1/3 of a cup prob) to around 2 cups worth of sauce. The end result, it tastes 'off', it tastes ridiculously 'earthy' - and I realise coriander, especially with the stems included does have that characteristic...I just didn't realise it would cut through all those layers and be the predominant flavour.

 

Looking for tips to maybe try and salvage the sauce, or what to do if you added too much of one thing, and how you balance it out. (Specifically this 'earthy' herby flavour that whilst has good flavours...also has that underlying 'dirt' flavour...haha).

 

TL;DR added too much coriander to my sauce, how do I minimise the 'earthy' flavour that has somewhat ruined my sauce?

 

 

Cheers!



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#2 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:04 PM

You might try a little lemon and honey. Lemon has a fresh quality without being herbal and the honey can sweeten and mask.

 

You also might try to not worry so much about the sauce but what you put it on. You are tasting from the spoon. For example how would this taste as a grill sauce for chicken quarters or a beer can chicken? Know what I mean? Find the food for the sauce.



#3 salsalady

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:38 PM

+^ what boss said is a good start. Hopefully it was a small batch and the next batch can be scaled back on that ingredient.

Cilantro seems to be one of those love it/hate it flavors. I'd love the sauce, my husband would hate it. Might not be a bad sauce for those that love coriander.

Edited by salsalady, 13 May 2019 - 06:39 PM.

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#4 Chorizo857_62J

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:40 PM

My wife makes a steak sauce (not marinade) with cilantro, parsley (equal parts), fresh garlic, lime, and white distilled vinegar.  I have found it is a nice compliment to pepper sauces too.  It is S. American/Latino in origin, but works well with salsas, and other endeavors. I married well....



#5 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:46 PM

That's a good example. Like a chimichurri. If you are aiming for hot sauce you may say yuck. But on steak, killer! ;)



#6 escherAU

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 07:14 PM

Thanks all! -- I made it about 5 days ago, so I will taste test it this afternoon and perhaps cook it a little with some added honey & lemon juice in increments until I find the balance I want.

 

Agreed about tailoring a sauce for specific foods, but I did try it on fish, also some brisket and also just with some cheese (for comparisons sake) and the earthiness came through a little too strong. I do love coriander! But it seems like the least desirable characteristic of the flavour came through.


Edited by escherAU, 13 May 2019 - 07:21 PM.


#7 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 09:36 PM

If you have scallions and allspice I bet you could turn it into jerk sauce. That stuff always tastes herbal! Kinda nasty until grilled and seared onto the meat. A lot of your ingredients are there. Before you toss it, give it a whirl!






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