Trader Joe’s PERI-PERI SAUCE with fermented and dried chilies


This is as the label says: “A CONDIMENT WITH RICH, COMPLEX HEAT”. Peri-peri sauce is one of those Trader Joe’s products that currently seems to be all over the Internet. So naturally I decided I better check it out. First thing to let you know, is that this Peri-Peri sauce is HOT! And when I say hot I mean it. It’s hot people, with a capital H! As in this is surely the spiciest product I’ve ever tasted at Trader Joe’s. It reminded me of the first time I tasted TJ’s (original formula, and sadly discontinued) Organic SRIRACHA RANCH dressing (sigh!). I opened the bottle of this Peri-peri sauce and just tasted a wee bit on a teaspoon all by itself. OMG. My mouth lit up, taste buds on fire. I’m not a chili-head but I enjoy “spicy” and can tolerate most levels of heat. However this Peri-peri was way up there. It took a while for my mouth to calm down and I thought, this sauce is too spicy. However I found the “secret” to using Peri-peri, is to just use it really sparingly. Use it in small even tiny amounts and you will get it’s flavor. Note, it’s quite liquid-y so be careful pouring it lest you get way more than you want. I usually put some on a spoon to gently dole it out in little dots of sauce. Once I realized about using in sparingly I started to really love this stuff. It’s very flavorful and complex with a ton of umami going on in addition to being spicy. The orginal bottle which I expected would last me a few months is already 2/3 gone in just a few weeks! So Peri-Peri may even be addictive. This label says Product of South Africa. Peri-Peri sauce is popular in South Africa, though it’s origins are from elsewhere in Africa, Mozambique or going even back going back to Portugal.

Peri-peri recipes traditionally call for tiny birds eye chilies which are super spicy. The label does not specify exactly what chilies are in it but it does say “fermented” as well as dried chilies. As TJ’s BOMBA SAUCE also uses fermented chilies, from which you get a lot more complex flavors than just “hot”. It also lists garlic,salt, dried chilies and xanthan gum (it’s a thickener). It’s a lovely orange color. The first ingredient listed on the label interestingly enough is LEMON JUICE. So there is a citrus-y background level behind the spiciness which I find works perfectly.

What is PERI-PERI SAYCE good on? Perhaps a better question is what haven’t I tried this on. I’ve tried it on almost everything. For one, a simple thing, I love this sauce on something as simple as cottage cheese (on toast or a bagel or crackers…) Again I just need a few dots of sauce here and there. It’s simply magnificent with chicken, which is what it was created for (Peri-peri chicken). I will next try it on chicken breasts marinated in the sauce. So marinate some white or dark meat chicken in Peri-Peri sauce. You’ll find its just stunning. Use oil in the marinade too of course and go easy on the peri-peri till you learn its heat level, though cooking will of course mellow the heat out. I’ve mixed a little of the peri-peri even into ketchup – that spicy ketchup combo is fantastic with hamburgers. A bit on grilled shrimp or fish? Yes, yes, yes. If you experiment with this (and go cautiously) you will come up with great combinations this sauce is good on. Oh and you can of course mix it with something, say mayonnaise or greek yogurt in whatever ratio you like and come up with a fantastic sauce in seconds. Trader Joe’s PERI-PERI sauce comes in a glass bottle of about 7 ounces for $3.29. I think this is really worth checking out. And check out this recipe for grilled Peri-Peri Chicken below which you could whip up using this I think.

Want to learn about the peri-peri (piri-piri) chili ?

(update: summer 2022: unfortunately this seems to be MIA…. production issue? or discontinued ? I’ll update here if I see it again)



13 Comments (+add yours?)

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  13. Jenny Bruseaux
    Apr 10, 2023 @ 23:41:52

    I absolutely love this sauce. I use it regularly for my famous sweet and sexy chicken dinner. You should definitely give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person


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