A Versatile Mild Salsa
Try this very simple salsa made with guajillo chile peppers, a mild dried chile with a complex fruity flavor. It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico for making salsas.
In this recipe, the chiles aren’t toasted as they are in many other salsa recipes which allows the flavor of the guajillo to come through.
Don’t like your salsas too hot? This is a good one for you, rich chile flavor but with less burn. This a versatile salsa that goes well with many dishes.
Try this guajillo chile sauce on tacos, enchiladas, chicken, scrambled eggs or on cactus salad.
This type of salsa is typical in the state of Guanajuato. It’s perfect for making enchiladas mineras.
Gather your ingredients:
- 16 guajillo chiles, also called chile cascabel ancho
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 tsp. salt + as needed
Choosing Guajillo Chiles
Choose peppers that are soft and pliable that have a mild fresh fruity smell. Brittle chiles are stale, lack flavor, and may be bitter. Learn more about how to choose guajillo peppers.
Remove the stems, seeds, and veins from the chiles. Discard.
Peel the cloves of garlic.
Chop the cilantro. You can use the stems.
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients, about 2 cups.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 minute then turn off the heat. Allow the ingredients to soak for 15 minutes.
Notice how the chiles have absorbed water and changed color after the have reconstituted.
Pour all of the ingredients including 2 cups of the soaking water into the blender.
Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add a little soaking water if needed to blend.
Strain the mixture back into a bowl. Press the remaining pulp firmly with the back of your spoon to release all of the flavor.
Discard the pulp that remains in the strainer.
Now it’s time to season the sauce. You do this by frying the base in hot oil. Start by heating a pan to medium-hot then add 2 tbsps. of cooking oil.
Pour the chile base into the hot oil. Add up to 1 cup of soaking water to get the desired consistency.
At this point, the sauce will be a little bit runny and will lightly coat the back of a spoon. It will thicken as it simmers.
Season with 1 tsp. of salt. At the end of cooking, you can add more salt to taste if needed.
Turn the heat to low then simmer the salsa for 30 minutes until it thickens. At this point, the sauce will coat the back of a spoon without being too runny.
The salsa will take on a beautiful dark red color during simmering. Looks delicious, doesn’t it?
Rest the Salsa for Best Flavor
Let the salsa rest for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to come together. Try not to skip this step. Resting 4 to 6 hours gives even better results.
Adjusting the Salsa
- If the salsa is too thick, add ¼ cup of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- If the salsa is too thin, simmer until enough water has evaporated until the desired consistency is reached.
- If you find the salsa to be too bitter for your tastes, add 1 tablespoon of sugar to reduce the bitterness.
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowl
- Kitchen spoon
Provecho! Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments below.