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Rough Rice



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1.      ‘Mothership’ Hot Sauce – So this picante is 3572 days at the time of writing. What started as a simple fermented chilli is now a ‘perennial ferment’ whereby it gets added to and taken from throughout the year. Constantly evolving she is now made up of an array of 20 + varieties of local organic fruit + vegetables, a plethora of herbs, plus gets an annual boost of local rocoto and serrano chillies. She’s the inoculant and the base note. She brings depth, complexity, spice and length to all she meets. Plan is to keep her going for as long as I’m around and hopefully beyond. I use her on everything; from rice and tacos to eggs and oysters. I also use it as the starter for pretty much every ‘lacto’ based ferment I make. 


2.      Fermented Turmeric Mother – The base of this number is another of my perennial ferments. 8 year old fermented turmeric, ginger, garlic + hakurei turnips. This ‘paste’ lives in a beautiful 130 litre crock, is vibrant and zesty and lends itself to all manner of applications. It is also my main perennial pickle bed whereby I can submerge whole vegetables in, wait a week or two, then pluck them out as fully fermented delicious pickles (*see Sandor Katz’s new book for more info of this). With this particular concoction I’ve blended it with ‘mex oil’ and a little quince vinegar to stabalise. It’s particularly good with seafood, made into dressings or drizzled onto vegetables or salads. Also makes an excellent addition to yellow curries.


3.      Blue Crock Chilli – As its name suggests this concoction was fermented in a beautiful big blue crock made in the Huon Valley by my friend Zsolt. The base is the mothership (#1) with last summer’s garden haul of red rocoto chillies fermented out for 6 months then blended with homemade; elderberry, hibiscus and red wine vinegars. It’s got great depth and complex acidity... and spice! Really suited to adding layers of zingy flavour to things like braises and curries, finishing stir frys or cutting through fattier roasts like pork or chicken. Also great with oysters.


4.      Fire Tiger – With a nod to a traditional ‘Fire Cider’ (an age-old remedy for boosting the immune system), this concoction combines;  fermented turmeric (organically grown by my mate Jono in Natural Bridge), fermented ginger + garlic, a dash of mothership chilli, spices and raw apple cider vinegar. Blended then aged in barrel. Take a spoon (or more) a day to aid digestion, as an anti inflammatory and/or keep your immune system in check or simply use as a punchy and acidic salsa, great w oysters / ceviche. Be like tiger.


5.      Spicy Spring Salsa - This punchy little number is comprised of 12 varieties of organically grown chilli from the Huon (sugar rush peach, aji limon, aji amarillo, spaghetti, fantasy white, Brazilian starfish, jokito, reaper, Tassie devil, rio grande, ngalaha beast + ngalaha beast caramel) fermented for 9 months with nothing more than Tasman sea salt and water from kunanyi. It’s been finished with a little oolong kombucha vinegar. Spicy, complex, balanced and zingy. Use as you would a Tobasco, think; fried eggs, Bloody Mary’s, tacos.. you name it. 


6.      Black Gold (Black Garlic + Douchi) – This umami laden condiment is one of absolute all-time favs. Organic Tasmanian garlic slowly ‘blackened’ over 6 weeks and douchi made from fermented black turtle beans. These two are then blended with ‘mex oil’, a little dried chilli and green Sichuan pepper corns. It’s a wonderful addition to stir frys, with seafood, dressing tomatoes also great friends with sauteed mushrooms.


7.      Preserved Lemon Salsa – This zesty lil number is a combination of last year’s organically grown Lisbon and Meyer lemons grown in the Huon Valley then preserved in salt and their own juice. They were then processed with toasted cumin, white pepper and emulsified with a garlic infused oil. This condiment is has a multitude of applications from finishing roast meats, seafood and grilled vegetables and an excellent addition to dishes like; tacos, kebabs and tajines. 


8.      Barrel Aged Chilli Vinegar – Having spent the last 4 years in a whiskey barrel (in my lounge room no less), this deliciously acidic vinegar is comprised of a home made apple cider base that I infused with home grown chillies. The aging process really mellowed the heat and added a hint of smokiness. This guy is great made into vinaigrettes with a good olive oil or used to add that little pep of spice / acidity into just about anything… and a little goes a long way.   


While I’ve given you a few suggestions on applications for these condiments, please ‘NO RULES’; experiment, try something different.

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