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Yellow Chili Salsa

Back in 1980 I worked with an hombre from Aguas Calientes, Mexico.  At the time I was in love with fresh salsa and asked if he knew how to make it.  The next day he narrated his madre’s recipe for yellow chili salsa as I wrote it down.  It has been a huge hit with family and friends ever since.  It contains only 4 ingredients:

In a skillet with olive oil, fry over a hot flame 5 fresh yellow chilies and turn them as they brown so that they are evenly golden all around.

While they are cooking, chop 8 medium peeled vine-ripened tomatoes into ¼ inch chunks; the softer and juicier the tomato the better.  Discard the peels.

Thinly chop 1 bunch of fresh green onions from just above the roots all the way to 2 inches below the tips so that you have a nice pile of white and green slices.  Discard the roots and tips.

Finely chop fresh cilantro leaves so that you have 1 tablespoon.  Try to use as few stems as possible.

Stir all 3 ingredients together in a bowl.

Once the chilies are fully cooked, use a butter knife to scrape the meat and seeds off the skins and stems.  Discard the skins and stems.  Smash the chili meat and seeds with the butter knife then stir into the mixture.

Put the mixture into a jar with a lid and store overnight in the fridge.  Periodically shake the jar to ensure all 4 flavors blend well with each other.

That’s it!

After you make a few batches you can adjust the flavors, especially the cilantro, which can overwhelm all other flavors if you add too much.  The amount of capsaicin in yellow chilies varies too.  Some are hotter than others, so watch out.


Add salt. I have never done this.  There’s plenty of salt on the chips.

Blend the mixture to make puree.  I have never done this.

Simmer over low heat until much of the moisture is cooked out.  I have never done this.

Instead of green onions use your favorite onion.  I have used wild onions when I can find them