Portuguese Hot Pepper Paste (Massa De Malagueta)

Total Time
Prep 192 hrs
Cook 0 mins

Entered for safe-keeping, when I want to cook authentic Portuguese recipes. It differs from Portuguese Sweet Red Pepper Paste (Massa De Pimentão) in that water is not drained off and the seeds are retained to ensure the fire of the chili peppers. Malagueta peppers are longer (riper) than piri piri peppers; they are also known as hot red finger peppers. These peppers keep for at least 6 months, if refrigerated. Per Ana Patuleia Ortins in "Portuguese Homestyle Cooking", some versions of this recipe add a touch of lemon juice or vinegar and garlic, but this simple paste adds heat to a dish while allowing you to add lemon or garlic to your taste, depending on the dish. Use either 2 8-ounce jars or 4 4-ounce jars, sterilized for canning/preserving. When adding to a recipe, remember that this is high in salt, so taste the dish before adding any additional salt.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Remove and discard the green caps and stems of the peppers but do not discard the seeds. Finely chop the peppers either by hand, or in a grinder or food processor. Transfer the chopped peppers to a medium bowl. Stir in the salt (and vinegar, if using), mixing thoroughly.
  2. Let the mixture stand in this bowl (covered) for 8 days in the refrigerator, giving the mixture a few turns every day.
  3. On the eighth day, pack the mixture into a sterlized jar, top it off with 1/2-inch of olive oil and refrigerate.