Sweet Horopito Sauce

11:30 am on 20 May 2013

Use this sauce as you would sweet chilli sauce. It’s great with the weed pakora and tempura recipes later in the book. You could also make Vietnamese rice-paper rolls using foraged greens and serve them with this horopito sauce.

From A Forager's Treasury: A New Zealand guide to finding and using wild plants by Johanna Knox, published by Allen and Unwin.


  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a good handful of fresh horopito leaves
  • 3–6 cloves garlic, according to taste
  • ¼ red capsicum
  • 1/3 medium-sized carrot
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 10–15 cm fresh ginger


Put the water, vinegar, sugar and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Add the fresh horopito leaves. You may want to tear them up a little to help them release their heat and flavour.

Simmer for 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop or mince the garlic cloves, deseed and chop the capsicum as finely as possible and finely grate the carrot.

Strain the horopito from the liquid.

Add the garlic, capsicum and carrot to the liquid and simmer for another 5–10 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch with a little extra water and stir it into the hot liquid.

Simmer the mix for another minute or so until the cornflour is cooked. The liquid will be translucent.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Grate the fresh ginger and, by hand, squeeze the juice from the gratings into the saucepan and stir to combine.

Pour the hot sauce into hot, sterilised jars and seal.

Sealed, it should store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months, but refrigerate to be certain.

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