Pasilla de Oaxaca Salsa


Dried chillies are one of the most treasured secrets of Mexican food. They are the key ingredient in many traditional dishes and salsas. As the fresh chilli matures, its colour and flavour changes. Sometimes dried chillies are used  as they are and sometimes they are smoked which only accentuates their flavour and transports them into a whole new level. Pasilla Oaxaca is one of the most well kept secrets in the world of dried chillies. As stated by its name, this chilli grows only in a small area in Oaxaca’s mountainous range of Sierra Mixe. It is not mass produced making it a rarity even in Mexico. This chilli is left in the plant until ripened and then lightly smoked using traditional methods. Pasilla Oaxaca has an incredible sweet, fruity flavour with medium heat. This chilli can be rehydrated and stuffed, it can be made into chilli flakes or it can be mixed with a few other ingredients to make one of the most delicious salsas you will ever taste such as the one we are sharing with you today.

Pasilla de Oaxaca Salsa

– 4 Dried Pasilla Oaxaca Chillies
– 2 Large Garlic Cloves
– 1 Tomatillos 794g (If you are lucky enough to find fresh tomatillos do use them! For this recipe you’ll need 20 tomatillos)
– Salt to Taste
– Hot Water


If you are using tinned tomatillos drain them for as long as you can to ensure their skin is completely dry. If using fresh tomatillos, clean them and set them on a hot grill pan together with the garlic cloves until nicely charred. Make sure you turn them half way to cover all sides.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl cover the Pasilla Oaxaca chillies with hot water for 10-15 minutes. Keep the water. Very carefully slice them open and remove the stem and seeds. Blend all the ingredients plus a pinch of salt in a blender or in a molcajete (mortar) until obtaining the desired texture. Use some of the water from the chillies if you like a runnier consistency.  Adjust salt.

The flavour of the smoky Pasilla Oaxaca and the charred tomatillos and garlic transform this simple ingredients in one of the most amazing salsas we have ever tried.

Find another way to use this salsa here.