How to Make Shito

There are a number of articles already online about how to make Shito. One thing that’s lacking from existing recipes, however, is clarity on how to accurately measure each ingredient used to make Shito. This article uses weights of the ingredients rather than quantity (eg. 1000g of blended onion vs 3 large onions) to improve precision as far as how much of each ingredient is required.


500ml vegetable oil 1 3tbsp salt
120g of ginger (blended) 1 tin of tomato paste
30g of garlic cloves (blended) 200g of fish powder
1000g of onion (blended) 200g of Chilli flakes 2
1 tin of tomato paste

1 Separate oil into two halves
2 200g of chilli flakes would make shito considered very spicy by non-Ghanaian standards. Adjust according to preference


  1. In a large saucepan pour half of your vegetable oil (250ml) and heat on medium heat until oil is ready to use for frying
  2. Pour in your blended onions, ginger, garlic and tomato paste and mix thoroughly until you have a puree with a single pinkish color
  3. Keep cooking this puree on medium heat, stirring intermittently for 30 minutes. The goal here is to prevent the bottom of your puree from burning, so stirring in 3 – 5 minute intervals should do the trick.
  4. After 30 minutes of stirring, add your chilli flakes and keep stirring intermittently until your puree starts to turn darker, this might take a while, but you want your chilli to be cooked through to prevent heart burn
  5. Once your puree turns darker, add the rest of your dry ingredients — the fish powder,  shrimp powder and salt to the mix and stir. You’ll find the consistency of your puree gets significantly thicker after you do this — don’t panic, keep stirring and pour in the remaining half of your vegetable oil.
  6. Mix thoroughly until you have an even consistency — you’ll notice your Shito starting to turn it’s signature black hue — keep stirring to get an even a consistency as possible.
  7. Leave to cook on low heat for about 25 minutes.
  8. You’re done. Enjoy the incomparable taste of your Shito Hot Sauce!

Maria’s Ghana Shito is Shito you don’t need a spoon for

For centuries one of the world’s most amazing and least known hot-sauces — Shito, has been enjoyed in the West African country of Ghana where it is undisputed as the country’s favorite and not without reason. It is rare that anyone tries Shito for the first time and is not subsequently blown away by how good it tastes. Dried shrimps, herring, onions and chilli peppers cooked in oil for a prolonged period deliver a taste that sets it apart from perhaps 90% of what the rest of the world has come to expect from hot sauce.

In bringing Shito to an American consumer base, we were aware of the challenges we would face. Shito has a shorter shelf-life than most hot-sauces, it doesn’t come in the traditional red color that most people expect for hot sauce, and it’s dark and rough texture courts ridicule with a name that seems prefixed with a descriptive profanity — Sh*t! We had countless debates about whether or not to change the name of the product before bringing it to the market, a debate that most of our competitors clearly had. Most of them chose to massage the names of their products in one way or another to avoid a potential backlash stemming from mainstream perceptions of the product’s traditional name. We went a different route. There would be no compromises here — not with the name, the taste or how spicy the product is. We did however come up with a way to make it easier to consume Shito.

It is ironic that in a country where most traditional dishes are eaten with bare hands, such that holding a spoon or fork once a meal is underway becomes a mess, Shito has always come in jars with twist caps that need to be held (usually with both hands), opened, and scooped with a spoon. The debacles don’t end there. Shito’s shelf-life is dramatically reduced when it comes into close contact with wet spoons. We came up with the plastic squeeze-containers with flip caps to solve these problems, but it was not by coincidence. This product is made for Shito lovers (hot sauce lovers?) by Shito lovers. For our first product, we thought it fitting to come up with a product which we would happily consume all by ourselves if it didn’t catch on.

If you already know and love shito as much as we do, try this one out, you’ll never look back. If you are new to shito, then you’re in for a treat.

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