Pique is a style of Puerto Rican hot sauce made with peppers, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and peppercorns. It requires just 10 minutes of prep, and a few days on the counter to develop maximum flavor.

two bottles of hot sauce on a white counter

While Puerto Rican cuisine isn’t known for being particularly spicy, many of the island’s signature dishes are complimented well with a good quality hot sauce.

It’s not uncommon to find a bottle of this Puerto Rican hot sauce, pique, at your table at most restaurants and households, whether it’s homemade or store bought.

This vinegary spicy homemade sauce is perfect for enjoying with rice dishes like this arroz con pollo or arroz con gandules and soups like my favorite sancocho.

bowls of chile peppers, salt, vinegar, and more

Ingredients

Here’s everything you will need to make pique:

  • chile peppers (can be ajíes caballeros, jalapeños, habaneros, ajis pineapples, or a blend of your favorite peppers)
  • garlic, peeled & smashed
  • fresh oregano
  • whole peppercorns
  • salt
  • white vinegar

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Hint: For a spicier sauce, you can keep the seeds in the peppers.

I opted to simply slice the top off of my peppers because the variety I used is already so small.

To make a more traditional red hot sauce, simply blend all the ingredients and strain through a mesh strainer before bottling and fermenting.

Fun Add Ins

There are many add ins that will add a unique flavor to your pique.

Some of my favorites are:

  • Cilantro – A small handful of these fresh herbs adds a great deal of flavor without much effort.
  • Lime Juice – A squeeze of lime juice takes the vinegar flavor and adds depth to it.
  • Bay Leaves – Bay leaves are known for their subtle but savory flavor, and they do a great job complimenting the flavors in pique if desired.
garlic and oregano on a cutting board

What to Eat it With

As mentioned above, pique adds a wonderful kick when used as a topping. Here are some of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes to use it on:

Check out the Puerto Rican recipe archive to see which dishes you’d like to use your hot sauce on!

jars of pique on a white counter

Store Bought Pique

a bottle of store bought Pique

If you don’t have the time to make your own, grab a bottle of store bought pique!

two bottles of hot sauce on a white counter

Equipment

You will need a bottle to store your sauce in.

I like reusing old hot sauce bottles or olive oil bottles, but it’s really important to use a clear glass that you can clean 100% before reusing.

I like using bottles with a narrow neck as they are easier to pour the sauce onto dishes without any of the solid peppers, peppercorns, or garlic cloves coming out.

a bottle of Pique on a white counter

Storage

This hot sauce keeps well on the countertop, because of the fermentation thanks to vinegar.

Buen provecho,

Salima written in cursive
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two bottles of hot sauce on a white counter

10 Minute Pique (Puerto Rican Hot Sauce)

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 days 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Fermented
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pique is a style of Puerto Rican hot sauce made with peppers, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and peppercorns. It requires just 10 minutes of prep, and a few days on the counter to develop maximum flavor. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup chile peppers (can be ajíes caballeros, jalapeños, habaneros, ajis pineapples, or a blend of your favorite peppers)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 11 1/2 cups white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Prep the peppers. If using larger peppers, start by slicing the peppers in half and removing the seeds (optional). Next, chop the peppers into pieces small enough to fit into the jar you plan to bottle the pique in.two hands cutting chile peppers with a knife
  2. Combine. Add the peppers, garlic, oregano, peppercorns, salt and vinegar to your jar. Make sure to leave an inch or two of space at the top of the bottle. Seal and shake the bottle to get everything mixed together.chile peppers with salt and garlic in a bottle
  3. Store. Let the pique sit on your countertop for a few days before using on whatever you like.jars of pique on a white counter

Notes

To make a more traditional red hot sauce, simply blend all the ingredients and strain through a mesh strainer before bottling and fermenting.