How to make Zhoug! This spicy Middle Eastern Cilantro Sauce has a multitude of uses and gives dishes a huge burst of flavor. An easy recipe that can be made in 5 minutes flat! With a video.
Meet Zhoug! (Pronounced Zoog. ) This spicy, green chili cilantro sauce hails from Yemen, but has become wildly popular in Israel and Middle Eastern cuisine to give dishes a huge burst of flavor. Think of this as a Middle Eastern version of chimichurri sauce or salsa verde.
But, the surprising ingredient that gives Zhoug its incredible uniqueness is quite unexpected. Cardamom!
Here is a simplified version of Zhoug, made with milder chilies, jalapeños vs. hotter bird’s eye or serrano chilies. This version can also be made in a food processor to save time. It literally takes 5 minutes!
How to make Zhoug | 30-sec video
- jalapeno- or feel free to use serrano for spicier!
- garlic cloves
- cilantro- fresh!
- cardamon ( ground or whole seeds, see notes)
- cumin-ground or whole seeds
- kosher salt, more to taste
- olive oil, more to desired consistency
- fresh lemon juice
- chili flakes (Aleppo chili is nice), more to taste (optional)
How to use Zhoug Sauce?
- Spoon Zhoug into tacos, wraps , shawarma pitas or grilled eggplant wraps.
- Lather it in sandwiches and falafels, or spoon it over roasted veggies, tofu, eggs, chicken, fish or use it as a marinade for grilled meats.
- Swirl it into soups for a bright burst of flavor.
- Swirl it into hummus, or labneh.
- Spoon it over Avocado toast, or eggs.
Make Zhoug Yogurt!
You’ll find a hundred uses for Zhoug Sauce. I promise! It’s actually quite addicting, and it tastes like nothing else. Make it spicy or keep it mild, totally up to you.
Hope you give this one a try! So much flavor!
More recipes you may enjoy!
Enjoy it and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Zhoug Recipe – a flavorful Middle Eastern Green Chili Sauce that gives meals a burst of flavor. Simple easy recipe that can be made in 5 minutes flat! This version is simple and easy without compromising flavor. Lather it over grilling meats, spoon it into falafels and wraps, liven up soups and stews or my favorite…make Zhoug Yogurt by stirring it into yogurt for a flavorful sauce.
- 1–3 whole jalapenos, sliced ( start with one, if unsure)
- 2 fat garlic cloves
- 1 bunch cilantro, small stems ok (about 1 cup packed tightly)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon ( or whole seeds, please see notes)
- 1 teaspoon cumin- ground or whole seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds– optional but good!
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns – optional
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil, more to desired consistency
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (Aleppo chili is nice), more to taste (optional)
- Toast any whole seeds in a dry skillet over med-low heat until fragrant. Note: If using cardamom pods– crush the pods and remove the seeds- just toast the seeds. (Video is not accurate here.) Let cool slightly.
- Place the toasted spices and all the remaining ingredients (except the oil) in a food processor and pulse until it’s uniformly chopped. Add oil and lemon juice and pulse into a coarse paste. For a looser version, add a bit more oil.
- Taste for salt and heat, adding more if necessary.
- Add chili flakes if you like.
- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to one week.
Toasted whole spices have the best flavor here! Remove cardamom seeds from the pods- leave the pods out. The video is not right. 😉 TIP: The cardamom is the star here, so make sure you use enough so you can taste it.
Chilies: Jalapeños are not traditional yet produce a very consistent and milder heat. You can swap them out for hotter serrano or other green chilies.
Herbs: Feel free to swap out the cilantro for flat-leaf parsley or even part fresh mint. You can also do a blend of all three!
Make Zhoug Yogurt: mix 1-2 tablespoons of Zhoug with a cup of yogurt, add more to taste. Taste, adjust salt.
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- Calories: 26
- Sugar: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 29.6 mg
- Fat: 2.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.3 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 0.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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