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Zhug Green Magic Sauce

Cooks in
15 Min
Meal Type

Zhug Green Magic Sauce

Magic Sauce Zhug (Yemenite Hot Sauce With Cilantro and Parsley)

I rarely get surprised. I try to introduce at least 1-2 new recipe a week. The magic name Zhug was haunting me for a while. It requires some manual work with a mortar and pestle. Finally I decided to give it a try. Happened on a day when I had to cancel my workout so I thought let’s workout the arms tonight! What came out hit me in the face big time. Haven’t felt so much freshness out of one jar in a long time! I originally came across the recipe on seriouseats.com in a post by my favorite and the only great Kenji Lopez. This is by far my biggest innovation in WorkWeekFoodie repertoire and it will certainly become a staple condiment in my fridge.  This sauce goes perfectly literally with everything. A piece of lean protein, or fattier piece of beef, in a sandwich or just as a vivid dressing in any salad to tease with your senses.

Let’s get saucing Foodies!


  • 1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 green cardamom pods, small internal seeds only, toasted (optional)
  • 2-4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 to 6 fresh Thai bird chilies, red or green (to taste), roughly chopped; or 4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed, seeded, and torn into fine pieces. I used dried chiles de árbol.
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 handful of fresh parsley and cilantro leaves and fine stems (about 2 loosely packed cups of mixed herbs)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Prep Instructions

  1. Combine coriander seed, cumin, black pepper, and cardamom seeds (if using and I did) in a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder using a firm, circular motion. Or be super modern and use your kitchen food processor. I like to earn my extra calories if not working out then working in the kitchen
  2. Add garlic, chilies, and salt and pound into a rough paste.
  3. Add cilantro and parsley one small handful at a time and continue pounding into a rough paste. (By the time you’re done, there should be no pieces of chilies or herbs larger than 1/8 inch remaining.)
  4. Pounding constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil to form an emulsion.
  5. The original recipe calls to season to taste with more salt. Originally the recipe suggests using 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. But I found it over-salted and recommend adding less salt. Remember you can always add more later. But you cannot take it out.
  6. The sauce can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

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Tastes Great!
Min. Sugar
Healthy Fats
Nutrient Dense
Complex Protein