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Pati Jinich

This salsa does hurt.

But just a little.

Yet it goes oh-so-well with the Pollo Pibil, which together with red pickled onions makes for a delicious Yucatecan meal. A bowl of this Habanero salsa is standard on just about every table in Yucatán. Around there, people drizzle some spoonfuls, or drops, on just about everything.

I recently found this salsa is heavenly combined with Louisiana style Bar-b-que and some baked beans (!). While it can make people very unhappy if not given a warning of how spicy it is, for the Yucatan class we had in December, the 20 batches made were gone before the middle of the meal. We did give our guests a warning… While my cooking team kept saying I was making too much, we made some bets, and much to my surprise, I won. I have learned now, that the American and international palate is much more open, than say a decade ago, for spicy foods.


Market pics.jpgSo Habaneros have become wildly popular throughout the world. Aside from their cute, happy and beautiful appearance, they are one incredible source of heat and are used to make many hot sauces that heat aficionados, like my uncle, crave for.

The photo above shows some Habaneros my husband shot at the market in Mérida, Yucatán. The photo below, are Habaneros I found here in the DC area.

Habanero2.JPGThis wickeldy hot sauce is really easy to make at home. Just char the chiles and garlic cloves either in a broiler, a dry skillet or a hot comal (as I did below for the 20 batches of salsa for the Yucatán cooking class and dinner).

Habanero4.JPGThen, please seed the chiles.

Believe me.

You must!

While I have gotten many requests for very spicy hot sauces from some of you, dear friends… please seed the Habaneros. If not, instead of wickedly-spicy salsa, you will have a somebody-please-help-me-or-I shall-die-from-this-heat salsa.

Once charred and soft, place the seeded chiles and peeled garlic cloves in the blender or your molcajete, and puree or mash away with some salt and either bitter orange or its substitute (1/4 orange juice, 1/4 grapefruit juice, 1/4 lime juice and 1/4 vinegar).

Habanero7.JPGOne of the nice things about using a molcajete, aside of exercising your arm a bit, is that the molcajete stores oils, flavors and aromas of the ingredients previously used. The molcajete adds a hint of those flavors, and its stored memories, into future concoctions.

If you dare try this salsa (hey! come on, why not?), please let me know, after you get over the shock.

Habanero SalsaSalsita de Chile Habanero Tumulada o Kut

Serves: 2

Salsita de Chile Habanero Tumulada o Kut" alt="Habanero SalsaSalsita de Chile Habanero Tumulada o Kut" />

Ingredients

4 habanero chilies, charred (seeded if you want to try to reduce the heat)

6 garlic cloves, toasted or roasted and then peeled

1 cup bitter orange, or its substitute (1/4 cup grapefruit juice, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 lime juice and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar)

2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, more or less to taste

To Prepare

Char the habanero chiles and garlic cloves with their skin on either a comal or dry skillet over medium heat, on the grill or under the boiler. In either case, it will take anywhere from 4 to 9 minutes, flipping once or twice in between. You know they are ready when their skins are charred and toasted and they have softened, without having burnt the flesh.

For the traditional take, peel the garlic cloves and place, along with the chiles, in a molcajete or mortar. Smash until fairly smooth. Add the salt and the bitter orange, or its substitutes, and mix until well combined.

Alternatively, place the ingredients in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

http://www.patismexicantable.com/2010/01/spicy_habanero_salsa/


Comments

Are you kidding? My husband would probably love it- I would die!

That’s funny… oh maybe not to you!!! Come on, give it a try…



Where oh where can I find those beautiful-looking habaneros!? I have only seen orange at the grocery store by my house.

Hi Megan,
I found those beautiful looking Habaneros at the Whole Foods right around my house, but I have also seen gorgeous looking ones at Giant. I have also seen pots of Habaneros that you can bring into your kitchen in many stores… Enjoy!



Wonderful pepper photography. I am not afraid of no peppers!


Oooooh, I am so taking you up on making this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE spicy and have yet to meet a spice level I didn’t love. I’ll be sure to report back to you!

Denyse and Fujimama,
So glad you are taking me up on this!! But don’t say I didn’t warn you girls… have a glass with milk on the side… just in case…



Pati,
The Mexican restaurant that we go to here closed while we were on vacation, and I thought we would never have habanero salsa again. Thank you so much for this recipe.

Dear Dana,
My pleasure!!! I hope you enjoy this simple, tasty and incredibly fiery sauce..



So so good. My new favorite!


Hi Pati-
So, I am sooo excited to find your website! I LOVE authentic mexican food and have long been looking for recipies and I can’t wait to start trying some of yours! They look amazing! I was wondering though if you have a recipe for a yummy authentic traditional salsa you would share with me? Like one I would get in an authentic mexican restaurant, can’t get enough of those salsa’s. This one looks too intense for me ;) Thank you Pati!

Hola Valerie, Here is a link to my pico de gallo salsa from the blog. I hope this helps! http://bit.ly/oFqBER



Hi Pati,
This recipe looks great! I was wondering, if I want to make this in large quantities, should I just double, triple, etc the ingredients or how would I go about making a larger amount (4-5 cups, say)
Thanks!
Billy

Hola Billy, The recipe makes a generous cup of salsa. So, I would multiply the recipe 4 or 5 times to make 4-5 cups. I just have to warn that this salsa is very very spicy! But if you like a lot of heat, you will love it! :)



Mañana ire a la tienda mmmmm mmmmm


mi esposo ase esta salsa pero no le kita las semillas.. ya se esta loko!!! yo solo la pruebo y el se la acaba solito… demaciado picante para mi :D

Que locura!



Good flavor with the roasted garlic and a nice heat for sure!! A little sweet for my liking; wish I could find/try the bitter oranges instead of the citrus-vinegar substitute. Overall a really nice sauce. Will make again!

Hola Colton, Thank you for trying the recipe! I think the juices in the citrus-vinegar substitute are what’s making it sweet for you. Let me know if you make it again with bitter oranges.



I have just made this using the substitute as I am making a Pork Carnita, Homemade Corn Tortillas, a Cilantro Lime Rice and a bunch of other Salsa’s. Salsa Fresca (Mexicana in some areas) a Cooked Tomato, Garlic, Jalepeno Blended Salsa, a mellowish Guacamole and some type of vegetable side as I cannot find dried Black Beans in my little town Super Market :(
If I am organized enough maybe a starter of Black Bean Fritters w a Cilantro Dip.
This salsa is spectacular, I have had a very similar one on my trips through the Yucatan and QRoo, the bitter orange is used very much all through this area.
Lovely Blog, Thank you for sharing.
I just Pre Ordered your Cook Book.

Thank you, Kimberly, for pre-ordering my cookbook. And thanks for taking time to write and share your menu. I’m glad you tried the habanero salsa but, oh my god, it is so spicy!



Hi Pati, I was wondering if you’ve canned this salsa before? if so what would be the canning time for a pressure canner?

Thanks, Rose

Good question, Rose!! I haven’t tried canning this salsa, so I’m not sure. I would recommend using the mixture with vinegar instead of bitter orange juice if you end up canning it. Thank you for your question!!



Made that salsa and it is great but I tried to make a double batch and just multiplied ingredients by two and it came out really runny. Through it on the burner and reduced it but any suggestions for next time? should I multiply by 1.5 instead of two for the bitter orange?

Si Bryan, that is a good calculation. Many salsas (and other recipes) don’t work as well doubled up, mostly if they are chile based.



Wow, I love the fact that you put a little note to use the molcajete. It gave me a great excuse to finally use mine and I will now continue to use it. I always used a blender or food processor for my salsas but never will I use them again. The consistency of the salsa and falvour is much better. Thanks Pati.

Gracias, Sabrina!



Oh my God!!! I am from Yucatan Mexico and i am very glad to see that you didn’t change the original recipe because i have seen the crazy stuff that american chefs make to our food. I validate your recipe. Its the ORIGINAL.
i like how you cook.

Thank you, Emy!!



Fantastic! I first tasted this style of sauce in a small tacqueria near Santa Barbara. I make this often with the molcajete, and everyone loves it. I use the Goya Bitter Orange marinade and fresh lime juice. I also use this as a base for a wonderful mango hot sauce. Thank you.

Hola Bill, Thank you for sharing! The mango hot sauce sounds delicious…



Love your webpage, and will try the recipe very soon. I use chili de arbor salsa everyday, and think I would die without it.
Thank you, as have been looking for salsa’s from the Yucatan.

ROJO

My pleasure.



Loved your show, but our PBS station no longer carries it.
Just wanted to let you know that there’s a habanero with absolutely no heat. It’s called a Numex Suave Orange habanero, and seeds are available from tomatogrowers.com. Got a half-dozen 6′ tall plants that produce 2-1/2″ fruits, a bright orange-yellow. I can make the salsas at any heat level I wish by adding a puree of Ghost peppers. These habs have an intensely hab flavor, and can also be used sautéed or just in salads.
Ask around at your Farmer’s Markets and see if anybody is growing them. I have absolutely no financial interest in promoting this, just wish that a lot of farmers would start growing them.
Keep up the good work…

Hola Tom, Thank you so much for the information on the heatless habaneros! How interesting!! I’m in production for the third season of my show and episodes should begin airing in January! Please ask your local PBS station if they plan to carry it.



se hace agua la boca con solo mirar la salsa

Jaja# Qué bien!



Fabuloso!!! Just the right amount of heat for my family. My husband & son have asked that I always keep a batch of this chile in the fridge! Thanks for sharing your recipes :-)



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