Rouille (Hot Sauce for Fish Stew)

The famous food writer M. F. K. Fisher described this sauce as follows:  “A peppery concoction suited to the taste of bouillabaisse, served separately from the soup to be ladled in at the discretion of the individual diner.”


  • 2 small bell peppers, seeded and cut in small squares
  • 2 small, hot dried chiles, such as piquin or Thai, crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pimientos, drained and dried (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons fine dry bread crumbs
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a saucepan, combine the bell peppers, dried chiles, and water. Simmer until the bell peppers are soft,then drain the peppers and pat dry.
  2. Place the peppers, pimientos (optional) and garlic in a mixing bowl or mortar and mash the ingredients together until they become a smooth paste. Slowly beat in the olive oil and bread crumbs until the mixture becomes just too thick to pour. Or, add the peppers, pimientos, and garlic to a blender and purée while adding the olive oil and bread crumbs. Then add salt to taste.

Servings: 1 cup

Photo by Ponyo Sakana from Pexels