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Yucatecan Tomato Sauce
Mexico - Yucatán
  -   Salsa de Jitomate Yucateca
2 cups  
3 hrs
This is a very simple tomato sauce used as an ingredient in many recipes from the Yucatán region. The main difference from other simple tomato sauces is the traditional roasting of the vegetables, and that presents problems (see Note-4). If you use the optional Chilis Chipotle, the name becomes Salsa de Jitomate de Chipotle.


Tomatoes, ripe
Chili Habanero (1)  
Oregano dry (2)
-- Option
Chili Chipotle (3)
Make   -   (1 hr)
  1. If using dried Chili Chipotle, put them in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over. Let soak 20 minutes or a lot more depending on dryness.
  2. Roast TOMATOES. Rub off most of the skin and chop coarse (see Note-4).
  3. Roast ONION. Peel and chop coarse (see Note-4).
  4. Blast HABANERO black with your propane torch. Brush off skin under running water. Remove stem and chop small.
  5. Mix together All Ingredients except Oil and and run in a food processor until until fairly smooth.
  6. Heat Oil, stir in sauce and keep at a fast simmer until it has a good sauce consistency - not too dry. A 3-1/2 quart sauté pan is perfect for this, but other pans can be used as well.
  7. Stored refrigerated in a sealed container this sauce will keep for about a week or so.
  1. Habanera Chili:   This chili, with its unique fruity flavor and fiery heat, is very popular in the Yucatán region (it's where the Jamaicans got them from). Here in Southern California just about every market has them, or the equivalent Scotch Bonnet (more wrinkly), but they may not be much available in some regions. If not, the pattern recipe suggests 2 fresh Jalapeño or 3 Serrano chilis. For details see our Chili Page.
  2. Oregano:   Properly, this should be Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens), leaves of a shrub that grows in the region. This is rather hard to find even here in Los Angeles, so you may have to use regular oregano with just a touch of dried mint. For details see our Mexican Oregano page.
  3. Chili Chipotle:   These are smoked Jalapeños. The pattern recipe calls for 2 to 3 and presumes they are dry and need a long soak. The dry are available here if you look for them, but here we have the 7 ounce cans of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce. This is far more convenient, but the chilis are smaller so use about 5 of them. Consider, especially if you're from the Frozen North, not including the Habanera if you use the Chipotles - using both makes the sauce noticeably hot by Southern California standards. Any leftover Chipotles can be served with scrambled eggs (delicious!) or frozen for later.
  4. Method:   Roasting the tomatoes and onion is convenient in the Yucatán - they're cooking on wood fires with hot ashes and embers. Here it's not so convenient at all. You can blast them with a powerful propane torch. They look blasted in seconds, but they really need a lot more than that to affect the flavor at all. On the other hand, if you use the Chipotles, you get plenty of smoky flavor from those, so the roasting means little. Chili Page.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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