Pimenta Moida (Pimenta da Terra, Pepper mash, Azores fermented pepper mash)

Pimenta Moida (Pimenta da Terra, Pepper mash, fermented pepper mash)

Pureed, salted, and fermented red peppers—is a popular ingredient for any Portuguese/Azorean immigrant.It is great when served with some toasted bread and fresh cheese, on top. It is also great as a marinade for grilling meats like fish, pork and chicken as well.
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Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 6 cups


  • 2-¾ pounds red mild peppers Shepard Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Italian Sweet Peppers
  • ¼ pound hot red peppers Malagueta peppers, Fresno peppers, Serrano Peppers
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar optional
  • 3 tbsp salt (about .85 tsp per cup of chopped peppers) or (1 tablespoon per pound) This makes a 4 % salt concentration.


  • Note: you could use any ratio of red sweet peppers and red hot peppers the ratio could vary depending on your taste.
  • Rinse the peppers in water
  • (Chop the peppers and remove the seeds (the amount of seed in the sauce is a matter of preference)
  • Weigh the peppers in grams and multiply the total weight by .04 to calculate how much salt you will need in grams. (or add .85 tsp of salt per cup of chopped peppers). {or about 1 tablespoon of salt per pound of chopped peppers)
    pimenta moida peppers food processor
  • Place the peppers and salt in the food processor and crush them until smooth.Put the crushed peppers in a non-reactive material such as glass, ceramic. Allow a few inches of headspace because the pepper solids will float.
    day 2 and 3 pimenta moida jpeg 0241
  • Cover the pepper sauce with plastic wrap. Keep out of direct sunlight. And allow to ferment from 4 to 7 days. (the amount of time may vary depending on temperature). Each day stir the pepper sauce once. You will know the fermentation is done when you no longer see bubbles forming and the solids do not float after stirring.
    day 2 and 3 pimenta moida jpeg 0245
  • If you want your pimenta moida to be thicker you can place some of it in a fine mesh strainer and allow some of the liquid to drain- (you can save this liquid and use it as an additional sauce).
  • Optional: Add about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of pimenta moida. This lowers the pH further- allowing it to be more shelf stable, less chance of spoilage.
  • Transfer the sauce into individual containers to be saved in the refrigerator. The sauce should last for at least a year in the refrigerator.
    day 5 pimenta moida tn jpeg 0257
  • the sauce is great on fresh cheese; to use as a marinade; to put on top of cooked chicken, fish, and pork; mix into soups.
  • This recipe uses a 4% salt concentration , but you probably could go down to a 3% salt concentration.


day 5 pimenta moida tn jpeg 0257 PIMENTA MOÍDA PICANTE
Note: I used to top off the jars with olive oil after the fermentation and before storage. But one downside of putting a little olive oil on top of the Pimenta Moida is that the olive oil will congeal in the refrigerator. After making this a few times I have found that it just seems simpler not to use olive oil to top off the jars. If you do use olive oil to top off your jars, I recommend as you open up each new jar, skim off the hardened olive oil and use it in another recipe.
Keyword azores hot sauce, Azores fermented pepper sauce,
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Portuguese / Keto / Seafood / Vegetarian / Breakfast / Dinner

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Hello, I'm Michael!

I aspire to share recipes that you and your family can enjoy while also learning about cooking fundamentals along the way. I attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, CA and now enjoy cooking as a hobby.

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