Schug is one of my all time favorite sauces! It is packed with fresh flavor and spice.
There are several variations of this sauce but this one in particular is green.
Schug is a Middle Eastern condiment that can be called by many names. Some of the other names are Zhug or Skhug.
It also comes in a variety of colors but they all have one thing in common, they’re spicy.
The first time I ever tried this sauce it was with falafel. And oh what a wonderful flavor combo that is!
Now I keep it around the house and add it to chicken, shrimp, salmon, bowls and bread.
What is Schug?
Schug is a Middle Eastern condiment or hot sauce that can be used on a large variety of things. It can vary in ingredients and be red, green or brown.
No matter the color, they all have something in common: garlic, spices and spicy peppers! If you love spice then Schug is for you!
This is my take on Schug. I’ve added lemon juice because I like the flavors together.
Can you freeze Schug?
Yes, you can! Schug actually freezes very well. I recommend making a big batch then freezing is smaller portion sizes.
To freeze it, portion it into airtight Tupperware containers then wrap the container in plastic and freeze for up to 2 months. Let the container thaw out in the fridge for about 24 hours before using.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Cilantro – Cilantro adds so much fresh flavor to this sauce
- Parsley – Parsley is another fresh component of Schug
- Jalapeno – Fresh jalapenos add a lot of heat
- Garlic – Lots of garlic cloves
- Cumin – Cumin adds a little bit of smokey flavor
- Caraway Seeds – Toast the caraway seeds for even more flavor
- Cardamom – A little cardamom goes a long way
- Olive Oil – Oil will help blend the sauce and bring it together
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice, although not traditional, brings a nice brightness to the Schug
- Kosher Salt – Salt will enhance the flavor of the ingredients. Please use kosher salt not table salt
Equipment you’ll need
- Food Processor – You’ll need a food processor to blend the Schug
- Oven – Toast the caraway seeds in the oven
Tips for the best Schug
- Use jalapenos that are spicy. Fresh jalapenos can vary greatly in spice from the store. If you buy some and they aren’t spicy, you can always use serrano peppers. Change the amount from 5 peppers to 3 if using serrano peppers.
- Toast the caraway seeds. It brings out the flavor in them.
- Don’t bother taking the stems off of the cilantro or parsley. You can take off the very bottom but leave all the rest on, they blend up just fine and taste great.
- Use fresh jalapenos, not pickled.
- Fresh lemon juice is best here, not from concentrate.
- Schug tastes even better after you let it sit for 24 hours. The flavors blend together better. It’s still delicious right away but even better after it sits.
- If you like it EXTRA spicy then use Serrano Peppers, Bird’s Eye Chili or your favorite hot pepper!
How to make Schug
Making Schug is very easy. Rough chop the cilantro, parsley and jalapeno.
Leave the seeds in the jalapeno but remove the stem.
Preheat the oven to 400°F then toast the caraway seeds on a sheet tray for 4 minutes or until slightly browned.
Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend on low until you have a slightly chunky consistency.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
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What is Schug made of?
Schug is made of herbs, chilis, garlic and spices. Most often you will find cilantro and parsley along with fresh garlic cloves.
Jalapenos are often used but other spicy chiles can be used as well. I like to add serrano peppers if I cannot find spicy jalapenos at my local grocery store!
Toasted caraway seeds, cumin and cardamom add distinct flavors to Schug that create such a powerful taste!
Of course salt is used to really bring out the flavor of all the ingredients.
Fresh lemon juice is a non-traditional ingredient that I’ve added to this recipe because I really like the way it brightens up the sauce and the depth of flavor it adds.
What does Schug taste like?
Schug sauce has a very strong, distinct and wonderful flavor. First of all, you get the heat from the chiles.
Schug should always be spicy. Then you get the freshness from the herbs and lemon.
Lastly, you taste the spices. Cumin adds a bit of a smokey flavor and the coriander and cardamom give a distinct depth of flavor, specific to the region Schug originated.
How to store it
You can store Schug either in the fridge or the freezer.
If storing in the fridge then simply put the sauce in an airtight container and store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
If storing in the freezer you can also store it in an airtight container or you can put the sauce into an ice cube tray. Pop out an ice cube or two whenever you need and thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a couple hours.
Stir the sauce together if it’s separated then it’s ready to go!
Is Schug spicy?
Yes, it should be spicy! Schug is not a mild sauce.
This is one of the main reasons I love it. I am a huge spice lover!
Although, you can tone it down a bit if you don’t handle heat well. Use less peppers or use a pepper that is less spicy.
Should I wear gloves when cutting hot peppers?
I would say YES! I always wear gloves when cutting hot peppers.
Cutting hot peppers can cause your hands and anywhere you touch with your hands (eyes, nose, etc.) to burn. Even if you scrub your hands well after handling hot peppers, it doesn’t always do the trick.
I’ve had my hands start burning hours later before so I’d rather be safe than sorry and wear a kitchen glove on the hand that will be handling the hot pepper.
- food processor
- ½ tsp caraway seeds toasted
- 1½ cups cilantro rough chopped
- 1 cup parsley rough chopped
- 5 jalapenos rough chopped
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- ⅛ tsp cardamom
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
Making the Schug
- Preheat the oven to 400°F then toast the caraway seeds for 4 minutes or until they are slightly brown
- Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend on low until you have a slightly chunky but consistent texture
- For best flavor, refrigerate the schug for 24 hours before serving