If there is anything I have been dying to veganize, it has been this recipe. Before going vegan, I use to slather this sauce on everything. Rice, stir-fry, any form of carb, basically if it was savoury and not liquid-y, I will add shito on it. So it was unfortunate to not enjoy my favourite hot sauce when I went vegan because it was chalk full of dried fish and shrimp and I could not crack the code on what I can use to substitute.
But after consulting with a fellow Ghanaian vegan veghanaian who mentioned using dried nori and reading the comments on a popular Ghanaian food page about other possible substitutes, I thought, let us just try and see what I can do about it.
With a bit of of intuition and luck, I got it down and it has changed my meal experience. It pairs with a lot of things as a nice condiment and honestly, a game changer. I am going to stop talking now and go straight to the recipe.
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 100g ginger
- 150g onion
- 60g garlic
- 4 scotch bonnet pepper*
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1.5 tbsp of dried mushroom and nori mix (I pulvarized three dried shiitake mushrooms and 3 nori sheets in a coffee grind till it was a fine powder)
- 1/2 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp veggie stock powder
- 1 tsp Ghanaian spice mix. If you don’t have access to this, you can substitute with garam masala or curry powder (both give a nice savoury flavour)
* you can add less if you do not want it to be spicy
- Heat the oil till it is hot but not burning
- Stir in tomato paste and cook for 5 mins till it looks fried, keeping the pot at medium heat.
- Blend the mixture of onion, ginger, garlic, scotch bonnet and 1/2 cup water in a blender. The less amount of water the better because it will be dryer and allow the shito to cook faster
- Once you have blended the onion mixture add it to the pot and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook at medium low for 25 mins, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn
- After the 25 mins, add in spices as well as the nori and mushroom blend
- Cook at low for another 25 mins covered, stirring occasionally.
- After 25 mins, remove the cover and let the shito cook for an additional 10 mins uncovered. This further reduces the shito and allows it to be drier.