Zhoug (Yemenite Hot Sauce)


Zhoug (Skhug or Zhug) is a great hot sauce that borders on being a spicy pesto. In the Middle East it is the hot sauce condiment offered to spice things up. This versatile sauce can be added to dishes to brighten, spice and add a punch of flavor to whatever you are cooking. I’ve made larger batches with more oil and used it to marinade grilled chicken, tossed a teaspoon into a swiss chard saute, or as pictured, used it to make a spicy Zhoug Egg Salad. Ultimately it is meant to be a powerful and spicy sauce where a little goes a long way. Given that chilies can vary in spice you can use more or less than the suggested amount depending on what level of spice you enjoy.

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Zhoug (Yemenite Hot Sauce)


  • 1 bunch parsley some stem removed (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch cilantro some stem removed (approximately 2 cups)
  • 4 jalapenos stem removed
  • 1 head of garlic peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor add the peeled garlic and stemmed jalapenos to the bowl. Clean and remove the bottom third of the parsley and cilantro stem and add roughly equal parts to the food processor.
  2. Add the ground cumin, coriander, olive oil, and pinch of salt and pepper and turn on the food processor. Blend until the ingredients have all broken down and started to bind together. I prefer it to be a bit loose but the longer you blend the more of paste it will be if you prefer that texture.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If it is not hot enough you can always add some ground cayenne pepper or chop up more hot peppers to blend.
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