Sue's Mexican Table Chile Salsa (No Tomatoes!)

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 5m
Ready In

"This is probably not like the usual run-of-the-mill salsas you are used to. It's a roasty type of salsa, with guess what? No tomatoes allowed. If you thought salsa had to have tomatoes, you should definitely try this. I first had something like it at a Mexican restaurant not too far from where I live. Wanting it for home, I knew it wouldn't be long before I made my own version. I hope you like it! I do! You will need the dried chiles for this. Look for them at any Mexican or Hispanic grocery, or a market that has international foods (you can also buy them online)."

Original recipe yields 24 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (68.2 g)
  • Calories 105
  • Total Fat - 0.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 196.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 21.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.4 g
  • Sugars - 0.9 g
  • Protein - 4.6 g
  • Calcium - 51.8 mg
  • Iron - 1.1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 20.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

About one hour before, tear off the stems and any woody part from the dried chiles.

Step 2

Shake out all the seeds, and tear them up (like you are ripping up an evil credit card) and place them into a heatproof bowl.

Step 3

Cover torn chiles with the 4 cups boiling water (make sure they are covered well- add more boiling water if needed).

Step 4

Weigh the top of the chiles down with a heatproof plate (just to make sure they stay submerged).

Step 5

Allow them to soften in the hot water for about 1 hour.

Step 6

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chiles from the water, but do not discard the water (set it aside for now).

Step 7

Place the softened chiles in a blender or food processor, along with the chopped 1/2 onion, salt, garlic, red wine vinegar, and lime juice.

Step 8

Puree mixture until smooth, adding 3/4-1 cup of the reserved soaking liquid to get the consistency you like (discard any liquid you don't need or save it to cook with rice).

Step 9

Pour pureed salsa into a bowl, and stir in the minced chiles (protect your hands if you want with gloves while mincing) (use habanero, jalapeno or whatever kind you like or have) and chopped cilantro.

Step 10

If you have not protected your hands with gloves while mincing the hot chiles, wash them several times with dishwashing liquid to help remove some of the volatile oils.

Step 11

And don't rub your eyes.

Step 12

The salsa may get hotter as it sits for awhile with those minced chiles, so consider that when deciding how many chiles to use.

Step 13

Adjust seasonings for salt (if necessary) and serve with warmed chips or over food.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.