Become a Better Cook in 4 Days!

Rocket Fuel (Homemade Hot Sauce) - A recipe for homemade hot sauce that anyone can make at home. Rivals any bottled hot sauce on the market!

Years ago, Jack worked at a very popular Mexican restaurant called The Edgewater Café, in a small, out-of-the-way coastal town about an hour north of Boston.  Many of their fabulous dishes used a version of this “Rocket Fuel” – or homemade hot sauce – and it was so popular with their customers that they would even sell a container of it to a customer if he or she asked.

Talk about a small world – I used to go to that same restaurant long before Jack and I met, and we’ve often wondered if our paths had crossed back then – not realizing that we would someday be married to each other!  It was a great place to go – a cool and funky atmosphere, a lively crowd, and lines of people out the door waiting for their turn to eat some great Mexican food.

Whenever Jack cooks Mexican food, he draws inspiration from his days working at The Edgewater.  This homemade hot sauce – which is based on the Rocket Fuel made and served there – rivals some of the best that is out on the market these days.  It’s a versatile (but hot!) ingredient to have on hand when you’re preparing your own Mexican dishes such as queso, enchiladas, or chimichangas – or if you just happen to like hot sauce on your food.  This sauce uses a combination of peppers and seasonings to give it some heat, as well as some fruit to lend some natural sweetness.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Rocket Fuel - Homemade Hot Sauce - A Family Feast

Rocket Fuel (Homemade Hot Sauce)

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups


If you like a sweeter hot sauce, you can add an additional pear or fruit (mango, peach, etc.) before cooking.


  • 1 cup drained jalapeno slices (from a jar)
  • 4 tablespoons jalapeno liquid (from the same jar of peppers)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 ripe pear, skinned and seeded
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Place all ingredients into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a low boil and boil covered for 20 minutes.
  3. Once the sauce is done, puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
  4. At this point you can jar the finished sauce and then seal using normal canning methods, or place in your refrigerator and use within two weeks.

You may also like:

25+ Fantastic Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Recipes - A Family Feast

  • Share
  • Pin
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Meet The Author: Martha

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe rating

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • nancy wrote:

    Can you tell me how long this will keep and should I keep it in the fridge?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nancy – You definitely want to keep it in the refrigerator after making it – we suggest that it should be OK for about 2 weeks.

  • nancy wrote:

    Love your newsletters and website. Can you suggest a fish sauce. I get in the Asian markets and get so confused at amount of selections of the different sauces. I tried one and had to throw it out it was awful. Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nancy – Thank you so much – we’re very glad you are enjoying our recipes. I just looked in our kitchen cabinet and we are using a brand that has the English name “Tiparos” which seems pretty good. We bought it at our local Asian market (and I know exactly what you mean – so many to choose from!). I hope that helps…we’re definitely not experts when it comes to different fish sauce options but this is a brand that we’ve bought more than once for our recipes. Martha

  • Tracy wrote:

    And I thought I knew of every recipe you’ve ever posted! Where was I in 2013???? I’m making this tonight and will double the recipe without even trying it. I KNOW I’m gonna love it!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you love the sauce Tracy! 🙂

  • Marianne wrote:

    Hi – I am planning to make your Pulled Chicken for a Mexican themed dinner party on Saturday – can I please check if the tablespoon of cilantro in this recipe is ground or fresh? thanks
    Loving your website – I’m off to find you on Twitter!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marianne – We’re glad you found us! It is fresh cilantro. Hope you enjoy the recipes!

  • Helen wrote:

    Hi there………greetings from New Zealand. Going to a Tex-Mex themed dinner party next week and would like to take this along, in keeping with the theme (in place of my trusted bbq pulled pork). I would love to try it once before then, but not sure I will get the time. So my question……..although I love heat, it is for 12 people who undoubtedly will have varying likes and dislikes to amount of heat. Which of the chilli/heat ingredients would you cut back on for the first attempt. If the level of chilli in your recipe simply adds to the depth of flavour (without blowing your head off) would be happy to try as is. Great recipe ideas guys.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Helen! I know exactly what you mean…my husband Jack eats this sauce as a condiment and I pretty much can only tolerate it added into recipes. Having said that – this is a fairly hot sauce as written so to cut down on the kick, we’d suggest cutting down on the jalepenos, cayenne and chili paste and adjust to your parties’ tastes. I hope the helps! Martha

  • Dora wrote:

    Thanks for your recipes 🙂
    Do you think this recipe would freeze well?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Dora – I just checked with Jack. He’s never frozen it before – but he thinks it should work! If you try doing so, please let us know how it defrosts for you – we’d love to know!

  • Nancie Buist wrote:

    For the recipe for rocket sauce is there another fruit to use instead of a pear? I have a food intolerance to them but would love to try your sauce.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Nancie – An apple or other fruit that you can purée would work fine as a substitute! Hope you enjoy the sauce!

  • Cesar Guillermo wrote:

    Hi there, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your website & thanks for sharing. I tried the rocket fuel, Mexican beef, bean and beef enchilada and the red enchilada sauce recipes. It turned out fantastic! Nothing but praises for you, your husband and your recipes! Good food from good people 😉 Again, thank you for sharing!! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Cesar! We’re very glad you are enjoying the recipes and thank you for taking the time out of your day to write to us! 🙂

  • Jen @JuanitasCocina wrote:

    Fab recipe! Can you tell me if you use pickled jalapenos? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jen! Yes – pickled jalapeños are fine! (You can use non pickled too but those seem to be more difficult to find at most supermarkets!). Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Mitch B wrote:

    Love your site. For the Rocket Fuel recipe – 1 cup drained jalapeno slices & 4 tablespoons jalapeno liquid – are these jalapeno’s from a jar or can ? doesn’t sound like fresh (due to liquid content), I can’t picture what you are using. Also 1 teaspoon chili paste – what type/brand etc…. Thanks again for your great work and willingness to share..

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Mitch – Thanks for your questions! The jalapenos are from a jar (we will clarify that in the recipe!). The chili paste brand we bought is called “Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste” which we bought at an Asian market in the Boston area, however you should be able to find chili paste in a well-stocked supermarket. Thanks so much for visiting our site and let us know if you have any questions! Martha

      • Mitch B wrote:


  • A Family Feast ® is a registered trademark of A Family Feast, Inc. All content, including recipes, text, visual elements, and photographs are copyright © A Family Feast, Inc. 2012-2020, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.