July 23, 2017
Photo by Julia Gartland
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

  • Makes 2 cups
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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Lyna Vuong

Recipe by: Lyna Vuong

I'm a food studies grad student, cook, and interior designer. (I love a colorful palate/palette!)