Salsa Macha
Salsa Macha

Feminine Macho

If you read about original Salsa Macha, you’ll see that there is a reason for its name. Salsa Macha comes from Veracruz region that features extremely hot chile peppers comapeños available only locally. It’s a truly fiery condiment. When this salsa is made in other regions of Mexico, comapeños are replaced with other hot peppers (e.g., arbol). I admired this condiment not so much for its heat, but for the bold and intense flavors. To adjust it for my palate, I combine my favorite dry and fresh red chile peppers, which are fruity and smokey, but pretty mild.

An assortment of nuts can be used for this recipe — pecans, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts. I replace them all with hazelnuts for their rich flavor when fried in oil. The best hazelnuts available in the U.S. are from Oregon. Blanching and removing their skins is a lot of work, so go for already blanched ones. Sometimes I use dry roasted hazelnuts from Trader Joe’s and skip the step for deep frying them.

The same situation is with sesame seeds. Unhulled (whole) sesame seeds are available in specialty stores and frying them is tricky. The best way to do it is by placing them into a strainer and dipping it into the hot oil for a few seconds. Thus way you can be sure they are all fried to the same doneness, and there are no burned bastards (because they escaped and spent more time in oil) among them. Just like with hazelnuts, I sometimes cut corners with roasted sesame seeds instead.

Smoked salt elevates this condiment to another level, so I highly recommend it. I never add all oil used for frying ingredient into the salsa. I save it for other purposes. Adding fruity vinegar also helps to balances the fattiness of this salsa, don’t skip on it.

Make It Your Secret Ingredient

Unlike other salsas served in a bowl with a bag of chips, this one is so intense — a little goes a long way. Grilled sandwiches with melting Mexican cheeses and salsa macha are my number one way of eating it. If I want to keep it strictly Mexican, I spread salsa on blue corn tortillas or chips instead. Serving it on grilled Panella is another wonderful way to enjoy it. There is a number of non-authentic culinary applications I like for salsa macha — flavoring simple soups with it or adding to sauteed vegetables and roasted meats, etc.

This salsa recipe is part of Local Flavors: Mexican/Tex-Mex — Block 1, Salsas and Guacamoles cooking class. We always make it at the end, and I often hear my students saying it’s a bomb of flavors.

Salsa Macha

Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chili pepper, condiment, hazelnut, recipe, salsa
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 oz Pasilla
  • 2 oz Ancho
  • 2 oz Chipotle Meco (smoked)
  • 8 oz Fresno chili peppers fresh
  • 2 oz hazelnuts blanched, skins removed
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds unhulled
  • 2 oz garlic peeled cloves
  • 1.5 oz shallot or red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 12 oz olive oil
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar adjust to your taste
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt or hickory/mesquite smoked salt, adjust to your taste
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup or brown sugar


  • Prepare dry chiles. Remove seeds and membranes and cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Prepare fresh vegetables. Peel and dice onions. Peel garlic. Stem, seed, remove membranes, and dice Fresno peppers.
  • Prepare a bowl and a strainer. Prepare a blander jar. In a sauce pan, heat oil to 350F. Fry hazelnuts until golden and strain hot oil into bowl. Return oil into the sauce pan. Transfer hazelnuts into a blender jar.
  • Repeat with sesame seeds.
  • Repeat with dry chile peppers.
  • Repeat with fresh vegetables. Turn off the heat.
  • Blend the contents of blender jar adding just enough oil to make a paste. Season with salt, agave syrup, and vinegar (combined together to dissolve salt), adjusting the salsa to your taste. If you don't plan eating it fast, keep in a glass jar, refrigerated.


Ингредиенты (базовый набор)
150г сухих перцев чили (чем больше разных, тем вкуснее получается)
240г свежих красных чили
60г орехов (пекан, арахис, лесной орех)
2 ст.л. семян кунжута
60г чеснока
45г шалота или красного лука
360мл оливкового масла
2-3 ст.л. уксуса
1/2-1 ст.л. коричневого сахара/фруктового сахара
1/2-1 ст.л. соли
1. Сухие чили очистить от семян и мембран и порубить на мелкие кусочки. Отложить.
2. Очистить от семян и мембран и нарезать кубиками свежие чили. Очистить и нарезать кубиками шалот и чеснок.
3. Нагреть масло до 350Ф. Обжарить орехи до золотистости (около 1 минуты) и выловить из масла и высыпать в дежу блендера. Насыпать в маленькое ситечко кунжут и обжарить, опуская его в масло на 10-15 секунд 2-3 раза. Добавить кунжут в дежу блендера.
4. Всыпать в масло свежие чили, шалот и чеснок. Обжаривать помешивая на среднем огне до золотистости лука и чеснока. Снять с огня и всыпать сухие чили. Перемешать.
5. Смешать уксус, сахар и соль и помешивая довести сахар и соль до полного растворения. Влить смесь в сотейник с чили. Перемешать и отправить в блендер к кунжуту и орехам. Пробить блендером и переложить в банку для хранения. Если предполагается, что сальса будет съедена быстро, то можно несколько дней хранить в комнатной температуре. Для длительного хранения лучше держать ее в холодильнике.
Salsa Macha