Trader Joe’s (spicy!) ZHOUG SAUCE


Trader Joe’s ZHOUG SAUCE is a very delicious, traditional Yemeni green hot sauce. It is taking the internet by storm. Warning, when it says “very spicy” here, Trader Joe’s is not kidding. It is SPICY! But it is delicious, not just “spicy”, it’s so flavorful if you try this, you may fall in love with it too, as I have. This sauce is a must have for me in the fridge always. For me, this is a Top 10 Trader Joe’s product.

Trader Joe’s ZHOUG (sometimes written ZHUG) is a thick green, herbal sauce originating from Yemen, made from cilantro, jalapenos and chile flakes, wonderfully seasoned with garlic, cumin and cardamon. It’s popular in the middle east. TJ’s ZHOUG is simply one of the the most bloody wonderfully unique condiments you may ever taste. I’ve tried it on just about everything you can think of…chicken, tofu, eggs, fritattas, pasta, fish…. you name it. It makes almost any food better. You can’t go wrong with this on just about anything you put it on, it will make you smack your lips, yum. I suspect it would be good on shoe leather. You can use just a little bit and get a lot of flavor, and you will probably use this in small amounts, just a few dashes as its so spicy. A little goes a long way. Also you can “tame” it easily by mixing it with some yogurt, or mayo. Frankly this was even a bit too spicy even for me, kind of a rare statement. So unless you are a total chile-head, capsaicin obsessed, death-head sauce freak, you might want to “tame” this sauce a tiny bit, as I tried and did easily. I just added some olive oil and lemon juice to cut down the heat ever so slightly by dilution. It was still excellent this way. I have also use it mixed into Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt) with great success. In fact, Yogurt and Zhoug are an excellent combo and make a wonderful, easy creamy variation. Adjust the ratio of yogurt to zhoug till its perfect for your personal taste. I actually like the Zhoug tamed a wee bit. As is out of the container just a few small dollops is enough to make your mouth on fire. Again if you’re a chile-head  you will love that, so pour it on. How long does it last in the fridge? I’ve found it lasts for quite some time, maybe a month. I also have found if I cover it with olive oil, the oil will help it last even longer, maybe up to 2 months.

You will find TJ’s ZHOUG SAUCE in the refrigerated section in an 8 oz container which is $2.99. Frankly this is a steal (but don’t tell TJ’s lest they raise the price) Seriously you should try this. Its a Top-10 TJ product IMO. ZHOUG matches wonderfully with grilled SHAWARMA CHICKEN!

And if you want to try your hand at making ZHOUG yourself here’s a DIY recipe for it I found online

“Zhoug likely originated in Yemen, and is now popular throughout the Middle East. It’s a cilantro-based sauce/condiment that’s been likened to “Middle Eastern pesto,” but we think that description shortchanges the originality of this spicy, fragrant, fabulously flavorful culinary creation. It’s a sauce that’s taking the internet by storm – from food blogs to social media feeds, Zhoug is having its moment in the digital sun. This really is the ideal time to introduce Zhoug to our stores.

Trader Joe’s Zhoug Sauce comes to us from a California vendor well-versed in the art and science of Middle Eastern foods. Here, they’ve put together a very straightforward collection of ingredients – cilantro, canola oil, jalapeño peppers, chile flakes, garlic, cardamom, sea salt, and cumin seeds – to create a sauce/dip/spread/ condiment that bursts with vibrant flavor and color. We call it “very spicy” on our label, and some will find it “very spicy.” Those more into spicy foods may find it only moderately spicy. Everyone who tries it will be impressed by how the flavor of every ingredient comes through, even as the flavors blend beautifully into the finished product.”

from Trader Joe’s site



21 Comments (+add yours?)

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  3. Bob
    Oct 15, 2020 @ 23:59:18

    This sauce is amazing, so glad I found it at TJ’s! I’d say the one I just bought is a medium spice level, at worst. I’m guessing the difference is because the spice level of jalapenos is spice variable, they must have used some particularly hot ones in the batch that you got.



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  6. Jenny Miller
    Feb 19, 2021 @ 14:21:23

    I could eat this with a spoon. Insanity yummy



    • promacnyc
      Feb 19, 2021 @ 14:57:10

      Yes! I even put it on cottage cheese. Great combo actually. I just marinated shrimp in it, then grilled them, and served with more sauce on the side… this sauce is heavenly.



  7. jennymillerithaca
    Feb 19, 2021 @ 14:22:21

    Insanity yummy. I could eat with a spoon.



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