How to make Zhoug! A spicy Middle Eastern Cilantro Sauce that has a multitude of uses and gives dishes a huge burst of flavor. An easy recipe that can be made in 5 minutes flat!
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 it’s incredible uniqueness is quite unexpected.
It is cardamom!
Here is a simplified version of Zhoug, made with milder chilies, jalapeños vs. hotter birds eye or serrano chilies.
This version can also be made in a food processor to save time. It literally takes 5 minutes!
How to use Zhoug Sauce?
Spoon it into tacos, lentils wraps , shawarma wraps 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!
I also really love it over Avocado toast, so delicious!
Stir it into yogurt for a flavorful sauce that can be used in buddha bowls or with these yummy vegan lentil cakes!
Zhoug Yogurt (above) is a great way to mellow the flavor a bit. Simply stir a few tablespoons into a cup of 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!Print
Authentic Zhoug Sauce Recipe (Zhug)
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.
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 10
- Yield: 1 ¼ cup 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Blend
- Cuisine: Yemen
- 1–3 whole jalapenos, sliced
- 2 fat garlic cloves
- 1 bunch cilantro, small stems ok
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamon ( or whole, see notes)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil, more to desired consistency
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (Aleppo chili is nice), more to taste (optional)
Place all ingredients ( except oil) in a food processor and pulse until it’s uniformly chopped. Add oil and lemon juice process 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 a week.
Feel free to use whole cardamon seeds, whole cumin seeds and peppercorns– toasting and grinding. Caraway seeds are a nice touch too. Jalapeños are not traditional, yet produce a very consistent and milder heat. You can swap them out for hotter chilies. Feel free to swap out the cilantro for flat-leaf parsley, or even fresh mint. You can also do a blend of all three! The cardamom is the star here, so make sure you use enough so you can taste it.
To Make Zhoug Yogurt, mix 1-2 tablespoons with a cup of yogurt. Taste, adjust salt.
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