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Fire Eater

Originally published in the Cenizo Journal, an art and culture magazine in 2016 written by me.

Herbalisms Fairy Godmother Rosemary Gladstar is credited with popularizing Fire Cider in the late 1970's or early, early 1980’s in the kitchen of her California School of Herbal Studies. A good number of makers received cease and desist letters (including me) from a company that tried to own the name Fire Cider, several people took the case to court and won!

Fire Cider goes fantastically well with wild game and BBQ and as a marinade for both. I use homegrown or organic ingredients to make this hot and wonderful pick me up. In a quart mason jar place two heads of garlic, chopped up skins and all, one jalapeno chopped, an onion, chopped skin and all, a little bit of fresh horseradish (jarred is fine if you can’t get fresh.) a whole lemon, peel and all, chopped, and a knuckle of ginger, chopped. All these amounts are based on taste so you can vary this according to your likes and dislikes. You can also make this as you wish, there is no right or wrong, add rosemary or black pepper or what ever you'd like. You can also add a chunk of turmeric, or other herbs or spices. Some people love the heat and flavor of cayenne in Fire Cider so they add a little cayenne. Then fill the jar within an inch of the top with apple cider vinegar. Cover the jar with wax paper or plastic wrap and use a canning jar lid to seal it. You put the wax paper or plastic wrap over the top to keep the vinegar from reacting with the metal lid. Let the Fire Cider set for a couple to six weeks and strain but feel free to dip some out the next day, it gets better and better the longer the mixture sits but is great after a day. I suggest you add honey (use local!) to sweeten it up. You can drink a shot of Fire Cider plain, make it into a mixed whisky drink or add it to a Bloody Mary either with or with out alcohol. You can use it as a marinade for any number of tasty meals. Try is on chicken, pork chops, pot roast or tofu. I love the way it makes firm tofu taste so yummy! For tofu marinade, rinse tofu a block of firm tofu (a box is about 14 ounces) with warm water. Soft tofu will work if you can’t get firm. Cube into pieces about one inch square. Don’t get out a ruler, an approximation is fine. Put the tofu in a non-reactive bowl. Pour about a ¼ cup of Fire Eater in over the tofu and refrigerate for an hour or so. Meanwhile chop up what veggies you have. I particularly like cauliflower and sliced carrots, but pick the veggies you like best. Add the veggies, the tofu and marinade to a hot cast iron pan with a little oil in it. You want the tofu to get crunchy and brown on the outside. Cook, stirring as needed to prevent burning, until the veggies are done but not soft. Serve over rice. I also do the same recipe with mock duck (seitan) using broccoli instead of cauliflower.

The Fire Cider veggies that are left after straining out of the vinegar make an ideal chunky condiment. Try chopping up the Fire Cider

vegetables and add some of them on top of your hamburger. I love this topped with Jalapeño Cheese. They will add a little zing to hot dogs and brats, too.


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