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Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water

A staple on many tables in Hawaii is Chili Pepper Water.  Every family has their favorite recipe or has their favorite person to get it from.  You couldn't find it in stores, but now you can.  

As with any type of recipe, there are many different variations. The original was most likely water, Hawaiian Chili Pepper and water.  I have tasted some that has vinegar, sugar or thickening agents. There are times that I do add xantham gum to the recipe so it's a little thicker and will cling to foods, but I do like the original where the consistency is like water.

This recipe is simple and the one I make at home for my family, I've also included a variation that I love on fish and other proteins.

Enjoy it on whatever your heart desires.  

E'ai ka kou (let's eat)!


12 ounces water

1 ounce white wine vinegar

2 clove garlic

1 TBSP ginger, minced

1.5 tsp sugar

8 ea hawaiian chilies or 4 thai bird chilies


  1. bring water and vinegar to a boil.

  2. in the mortar smash the garlic, ginger and chilies.add the smashed mix into the boiling liquid.return to a boil.

  3. turn off heat.let cool.  

  4. add salt to taste.

  5. store refrigerated.

Variation- yuzu chili pepper water


12 ounces water

2 cloves garlic

1 TBSP ginger, minced

7 each hawaiian chiles or 4 thai bird chilies

6 ounces yuzu juice, from a bottle is good

7 ounces brown sugar


  • same as the original 

When you make this please take a picture and post with #cookingwithclay. I would love to see how yours came out.

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