I love hot sauce. Sriracha is at the top of the list of items I am craving while in Nicaragua. Even though Nicaragua does not offer Sriracha in the restaurants or markets, they do have a variety of hot sauces available that all give a nice extra punch to any meal. Here is a quick guide and review of the three most popular hot sauces in Nicaragua so you know exactly what you’re putting on your food when you get here:
Salsa de Chile Picante
This is the spiciest of the three sauces. It’s made with a variety of veggies and lots of spicy peppers. The sauce has a few pepper seeds in it, giving an unexpected kick in the mouth. It is not vinegary and is much spicier than Tabasco yet not as hot as sriracha. It’s definitely the best option for spicy food lovers here in Nicaragua.
Salsa Inglesa (English Sauce)
Known as Worcestershire Sauce to Americans, Salsa Inglesa or Lizano Salsa is very popular with many locals all throughout Central America. It is commonly added to gallo pinto and meat dishes. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the taste, it carries a sweet tanginess within its thick brown color. It is not spicy at all, so it’s a great condiment option for those who don’t like spicy food. It’s like the ketchup of Central America.
This is a homemade sauce made by every local restaurant or street vendor. Every sauce is slightly different according to the respective family recipe, but they all consist of the same basic ingredients. Thick chunks of onions, bell peppers, spicy peppers and carrots are chopped up and soaked in local vinegar and then sealed in a large glass jar. It’s less spicy than the Salsa de Chile Picante, but we really enjoy what the flavorful vegetables add to every meal. I love putting it on eggs, chicken or beef to add a little flavor along with some extra texture.