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"Bulls On Parade" zhoug hot sauce

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If you don't know zhug or zhoug sauce, you need to get up on it! A mildly spice hot sauce that makes everything taste better!

zhoug sauce in yellow bowl

What is Zhoug?

Though it's popular in Israel, Zhoug actually originated in Yemen where it's a common hot sauce condiment. Similar to its South American cousin, Argentinian chimichurri, zhug is a mixture of fresh herbs, olive oil, citrus, and spices. Where it differs is in the use of green chiles and types of spices. 

Zhoug packs some heat due to the presence of green chiles like serrano, jalapeno, or Thai. The spice blend is quite uncommon as it may be the only hot sauce or condiment that uses cardamom. The unique combination of spices, herbs, and chiles nets a sauce that is refreshing, aromatic, earthy, vibrant in color, and tasty with a lil bit of heat.

I love hot sauce. I mean who doesn't, but I really really love hot sauce. When I travel domestically or internationally I make it point to sample the local hot stuff. Though I haven't been to Yemen, nor Israel for that matter a friend recommended I try and make zhug. Of course I couldn't pronounce it; it looks like Shug but sounds like sklug. Don't fret the only thing confusing or challenging about the dish is the pronunciation. The dish itself is pretty straightforward.

This week's sauce meal prep is all about this fiery green sauce. I'm in straight headbanger mode as I crank out four different sauces. Rage Against The Machine's "Bulls On Parade" is on repeat at volume way past 10!

Ingredients Needed

Feel free to use ground versions of both the cumin and coriander if you don't have access to the seeds.

  • Serrano Chilis
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Cardamom
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon
  • Kosher 
  • Salt

How to use Zhoug Sauce

The flavor profile makes it quite versatile; use it on grilled meats, as a dip for breads like pita, on eggs or even fruit like melons. Pair it with any of the following:

Black-eyed Pea Falafel Cakes

Fried Eggs

Grilled Lamb Chops

Smoked Trout

Grilled Hanger Steak

Hot Dogs

hanger steak with zhoug

Zhoug Sauce Tips

  • Adjust the heat level as you see fit. Keep or remove as many seeds from the chiles to adjust your heat levels.
  • A little cardamom goes a very long way so be careful
  • Don't make a special trip to the grocery story. Use whatever herbs you have on hand. Similarly, any type of green chili will do. And if cardamom isn't in your spice cabinet, exclude and rely on cumin and coriander.
  • For extra level flavor heat the spice seeds before grinding. Heating releases their flavor.

For similar recipes to this one, try these:

West African Peanut Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Spinach Chimichurri Sauce

Haitian Pikliz Hot Sauce

If you make this delicious zhoug recipe or any other from the site, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

zhoug sauce in yellow bowl

Zhoug Sauce

Twist on traditional Yemenite Zhoug a hot sauce condiment made with chilis, herbs, and aromatic spices. Use it on meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom spice
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles stemmed and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion peeled and chopped roughly
  • Juice from 1 whole lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the coriander, cardamom, and cumin seeds in a small pan over medium high heat. Toast until fragrant (roughly 2 minutes) then remove from the heat and cool.
  • When cool grind in spice grinder then set aside.
  • Combine parsley, spices, chiles, onion, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the desired consistency then season with salt and pepper.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or use immediately as a condiment/topping.

Notes

  • Adjust the heat level as you see fit. Keep or remove as many seeds from the chiles to adjust your heat levels.
  • A little cardamom goes a very long way so be careful
  • Don't make a special trip to the grocery story. Use whatever herbs you have on hand. Similarly, any type of green chili will do. And if cardamom isn't in your spice cabinet, exclude and rely on cumin and coriander.
  • For extra level flavor heat the spice seeds before grinding. Heating releases their flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1485IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




Marlene

Thursday 17th of February 2022

Sounds awesome! Making it w/hanger steaks as you suggested.

Unfortunately my gut can't handle chilis but have everything else on hand - I'll update once made!

Question - how long will this last? Assume it needs to be in fridge???

Thx

Marwin Brown

Thursday 17th of February 2022

Hi definitely refrigerate after using it. I'd estimate about a week in terms of shelf life. It's usually gone after 3-4 days in my house since i eat it with eggs as well as on sandwiches.

Michel

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Although Zhoug is consumed widely in Israel, it originates in Yemen. Calling it “Israeli Chimichurri” perpetuates the cultural appropriation of many aspects of Arab and Levantine cultures by Israel and Israeli culture. Essentially erasing Arab identities and appropriating as Israeli.I don’t think you’re intentionally trying to do that here. It’s just important to be aware of such context and, if within your capacity, to edit or update accordingly.

Marwin Brown

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Michel,

Definitely wasn't my intent and I should know better. Please accept my sincere apology. I appreciate your perspective and willingness to share and correct me. Just as important, thanks for the education and insight. Post has been updated.

Regards