There’s nothing like a recipe that makes you look like a culinary god (or goddess) because you opened up a can of hot sauce. That’s when you know you’re in Ubah Hot territory, which is supermodel Ubah Hassan’s hot sauce. Like most great inventions, Ubah Hot was born from necessity — and now even Oprah is hooked. Here’s a recipe you need, and it can be as simple as opening up a jar of Ubah Hassan hot sauce.
It’s Supermodel Hot
In honor of International Women’s Day this month, we’re featuring a woman who inspires with her beauty, inside and out. Supermodel Ubah Hassan started out in the modeling business 20+ years ago. She was born in Somalia, emigrated to Kenya and Tanzania as a child, and eventually made her way to Vancouver, Canada. It was there, in a shopping mall, that she was first recruited as a fashion model — and the rest is history.
In Africa, meals with her mother and family were always special. Ubah celebrates real food, like rice, curries, ugali (an African specialty), and anything that warms your soul. Contrary to what you might think about models, she loves to eat. So when she first moved into the models apartment in New York City (yes, there is really a place where beautiful models all live together), she would cook up a storm for the other girls. Then her agent had a word with her, and told her that she had to stop making lasagna and eating pizza, as all the girls were gaining weight. Eat quinoa, the agent told her, and steamed fish and veggies, and food that has no taste.
Well, Ubah doesn’t do bland, and she really likes to spice things up — literally. So she made all the “skinny food” flavorful by creating a healthy hot sauce. It became her party trick. She would show up with her hot sauce, and guests (myself included) would practically drink it out of the jar. I remember, one night, joking about how she needed to actually sell the hot sauce with her face on it, and call it “Supermodel Hot.” Little did we know that she had such a plan already in the works.
A Few of Oprah’s Favorite Things
It’s no secret that Ubah Hassan is my BFF travel buddy. We’ve been to South Africa, Botswana, the south of France, Paris, Champagne, and Luxembourg, Bhutan, Nepal, and to many destinations in the United States. She’s the only person who, after 10 full days together, will be my first dinner companion in New York City after we return. She’s also someone I can talk with non-stop during the entire trip.
And most of all, Ubah’s the one who challenges me in tough conversations. Despite my stubbornness and my fatal flaw not to forgive, she’s made me accept and give second chances. She did something so impactful in my life that it has created a world of happiness for me these past five years. I wouldn’t have had that otherwise. We don’t see each other nearly enough — but when we do, I’m beyond grateful for her friendship. She’s one of the few people whose opinion I actually care about.
So when she launched her Ubah Hassan hot sauce, of course I was all-in. But even if I’d never met Ubah, I would’ve given her sauce the thumbs-up. It’s really good — beyond good, since it more than meets my tough standards as a foodie and home chef. What I love is that this is made with completely fresh ingredients and absolutely no preservatives. Ubah Hassan’s hot sauce is what food should taste like, and is true to Ubah herself.
We’ve done recipes with Ubah Hot tiraditos, and this shakshouka came about when after a 14-day trip, all I wanted to do was cook for myself. But all I had in the fridge was Ubah Hot and eggs. Right about then too, was when Oprah put Ubah Hot on her list of favorite things, and the Ubah Hassan hot sauce completely sold out. Luckily I know someone! Ubah Hot should be a staple in every fridge.
1/2 yellow onion or shallots, finely chopped
1/2 jar Fresno Mild Ubah Hot
1/3 jar Habañero Hot Ubah Hot
maldon sea salt
optional: green and yellow peppers, cut into strips
When we said this was easy, we meant it. You can forgo the extra shallots, green and yellow peppers, and just open up two jars of Ubah Hot. So it can literally be as straightforward as simmering the contents for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, uncovered. Otherwise, if you’re adding some extra onion and peppers, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions and peppers for about eight minutes until almost caramelized. Pour in 1/2 jar of both Ubah Hot Sauces, stir well and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Make six holes in the hot sauce mixture and break in the eggs. Cover with a lid, and cook about 6–7 minutes over medium-low heat. Whites should be fully cooked and eggs still at least slightly runny. Once to desired poached-egg consistency, uncover and sprinkle cilantro on top. Finish off with a sprinkling of maldon sea salt, and serve with grilled ciabatta bread, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. You can enjoy this dish piping hot (recommended) or at room temperature at a big brunch.
The Podcast: From New York to Bhutan with Ubah Hassan
Ubah Hassan’s Hot Sauce Shakshuka
Ubah Hassan Talks Hot Sauce
Spotlight on Ubah Hassan: Model Behavior
The Ubah Hot Tiradito Recipe
Ubah Hassan at Camp Sarika