July 23, 2017
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes 2 cups
Author Notes

Zhug (also spelled skhug, schug or s’hug) is a popular condiment found in Yemenite Jewish cuisine. I discovered zhug while having breakfast at my local Israeli breakfast spot in Brooklyn and immediately became addicted. Think of this sauce as a fresh, fiery middle eastern pesto; perfect dolloped into soups, slathered in a sandwich, or my favorite-- on eggs. The general framework for this recipes includes fresh parsley and cilantro, pulsed with spices, and hot peppers. Experiment with your favorite pepper (Thai chiles, even) and add more depending on the heat you can handle. Make a batch now and use it throughout the week. —Lyna Vuong

What You'll Need
  • 1 to 3 jalapeno, halved and de-seeded. Start with 1 pepper and add more according to your heat preference.
  • 1 bunch cilantro; stems and leaves washed, rough chopped (roughly 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley; stems and leaves washed, rough chopped (roughly 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, more to cover
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil to combine. Do not overblend the zhug, it should maintain a little texture like a chunky pesto.
  3. Taste the zhug; add more salt to taste, add more jalapeno for desired spiciness.
  4. Store the zhug in an airtight container; pour a little olive oil on top to coat the surface to prevent oxidation and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hollis Ramsey
    Hollis Ramsey
  • Panfusine
  • Rebecca Hodgkins
    Rebecca Hodgkins
  • Lyna Vuong
    Lyna Vuong

4 Reviews

Hollis R. February 6, 2019
i can't get to the store. i'm missing parsley -- essential here -- but i can't get there from here. is it okay to add more chilies and garlic, or would that just be overkill? i've read some really HOT zhug recipes and seen it made in Youtube videos, but it's been a while, so i don't remember for sure whether i was attracted to zhug for its herbal or garlicky quality, or both.
Rebecca H. March 21, 2020
Wow, this comment is prophetic for a lot of us, isn't it?
I hope you are okay, and that by the time you get back to this comment, you and everyone else can get to the store whenever we want.
You could always up the cilantro, or even add celery leaves if you have them.
Panfusine July 26, 2017
Love Zhoug, I use it as a chutney for SOuth Indian Dosa & Idlies
Lyna V. July 26, 2017
Sounds delicious, it really is great with just about everything!