Spicy Mexican Salsa made with roasted Chile de Arbol pods and fresh Tomatillos. This salsa is perfect on all your favorite Mexican dishes.
Salsa is a staple in Mexican cuisine and this Chile de Arbol salsa compliments so many dishes. It's smoky, spicy, but balanced from the tomatillos.
If you've been intimidated to make your own salsa, I'm here to show you that it's not complicated and you'll want to have this salsa on hand every week!
What is Chili de Arbol?
Chile de Arbol is a long red pepper and in Spanish is sometimes called Bird's beak chile. The spice level is higher than that of a jalapeno but not as spicy as a habanero. Chile de arbol are sold dried at most grocery stores or online.
The other ingredients for this salsa are fresh tomatillos, garlic, and a little water.
How to Roast Chile de Arbol and Tomatillos
Remove the stems from the pepper, and shake out some of the seeds. The salsa will be less spicy this way.
Then place peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast lightly to bring out the aroma. Make sure they don't burn.
Place the toasted chile de arbol in a blender or food processor, and in the same skillet add the tomatillos. The tomatillos need to have the husk removed, washed, and dried.
Roasting the tomatillos does take some time, about 10-15 minutes. You want them to get blistered and softened. Once they are slightly soft, I recommend turning off the heat and leave them on the skillet to cool and soften more for a few minutes.
Roasting the tomatillos can also be done in the oven or on the grill.
How can I control the spice level?
Removing the seeds from the chile de arbol will make the salsa less spicy. If it's still to spicy, add a roasted roma tomato to help cool it down. Also refrigerating the salsa will lower some of the spice as well.
Want more spice?? Add a roasted habanero or serrano pepper to make it spicier. You can also add more chile de arbol as well.
Storing the Salsa
Once the salsa is blended taste and see if additional salt is needed. You can serve the salsa right away or pour it into a jar with a lid and have it cool down in the refrigerator.
Salsa will keep fresh in a sealed container up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Watch the YouTube Video
Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe
- Blender or Food Processor
- Peel husk from tomatillos and wash well to remove residue from skin. Allow to dry.
- Remove stems from chile de arbol pods. You can also remove the seeds if you want it less seedy and spicy. Place peppers in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast lightly to bring out the aroma, but don't burn them.
- Transfer toasted chili's to a blender or food processor and place dry tomatillos in the same skillet (no oil). Toast over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until they blister and soften. Once the tomatillos start softening, turn off the heat and leave them on the skillet to cool and soften more for a few minutes.
- Add ¼ cup of water to the blender or food processor with the chili's and blend until a paste forms. Then add cooled and softened tomatillos, garlic, and salt to blender. Pulse until salsa is incorporated and desired consistency is reached. Salsa can be used right away or store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator to cool.
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