Spicy Red Salsa with Chile Japones

The Japones Chile (Capsicum Annuum) is similar in appearance to the De Arbol. Though the walls of the Japones are thicker. Dried Japones Chiles are medium hot and good with Asian dishes. On the heat scale, this chile is 5-6. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 35,000.

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40 dry japones chiles
1½ cup water divided
2 large cloves garlic peeled
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ 8-ounce (small) can tomato sauce


Lightly toast chiles on a comal or large flat pan over low-medium heat. Move and turn frequently to avoid burning. Once chiles begin to release their aroma and become slightly darker in color, remove from heat.

Blend on medium setting with 1 cup water and garlic until somewhat smooth in texture. You want to still be able to see the seeds, but avoid having chunks of chile or garlic in the salsa.

Transfer chile mixture to a medium jar. Very lightly rinse blender with remaining ½ cup water to obtain remaining chili in blender and add chile-water mixture to jar as well.

Add tomato sauce and salt. Cover and shake jar vigorously until well mixed.

Taste and adjust salt. If necessary, add small amounts of water until salsa reaches desired consistency. This salsa should be light in consistency, but not watery.

Note: Do not, I repeat, do NOT blend tomato sauce with chiles and water to save time. This creates an entirely different texture. Store refrigerated and it can last up to two weeks.

Recipe from Lola’s Cocina, 2014