Slow Cuts’ Kaffir Lime Chilli Hot Sauce


With chillies in peak season, what better way to benefit from their economical price-tag than make Sam Gruar’s famous Kaffir Lime Hot Sauce from Slow Cuts. Sam is the co-owner (with fiancee PJ) and head chef of La Rumbla and Slow Cuts in Arrowtown. He is lucky enough to have a father who is dedicated chilli grower and regularly sends him parcels of different varieties of chillies. Lucky us as customers who get to benefit from his dad’s passion! We can only pray this talented chef will put out cook book at some stage soon for both his restaurants so we can all enjoy his incredible recipes! Enjoy this punchy sauce – it will take any meal to a whole new level!


1/2 cup olive oil

4 onions, diced

20 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

30g ginger, peeled and grated

10 wild fire chillies, stems cut off and sliced

50g brown sugar

10 kaffir lime leaves

200ml apple cider vinegar

4 teaspoons salt


1.Pour the olive oil into a pot and cook off the onions for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

2.Add the brown sugar and combine thoroughly. Reduce the heat, and over the next 45 minutes, slowly caramelise the sugar. Be sure not to burn this or you will have to start again!

3.Once this has caramelised, take off the heat, add the vinegar and mix thoroughly. You may need to add a little water if it’s still a little too sticky.

4.Blend the mixture with a stick blender and pop back on the stove on medium heat. Add the whole kaffir lime leaves and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (add one teaspoon of salt, taste, and add more until you have the right amount).

5.While this is simmering, sterilise a jar or bottle with a lid.

6.Once you have simmered for 20 minutes, stick-blend until pretty smooth. Pour into your jar while still hot. Once it’s cooled, pop on the lid and put in the fridge, where it should last a month or so.