Pantry Seasonings/

Salsa Negra

Servings: 2cups


  • 2 canschipotle chiles en adobo
  • 2tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4cup balsamic vinegar or sweet sherry vinegar
  • 1/4cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4cup soy sauce
  • Salt


Place the two entire cans of chiles (and their canning sauce) in a blender along with the  molasses, vinegar, sugar and ½ cup water.  Process until completely smooth.  Scrape into a small 2-quart) saucepan set over medium heat. Let the mixture come to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and continue simmering, stirring regularly, until the mixture is the consistency of tomato paste, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce. If necessary, add some water, a little at a time, until the salsa is the consistency of runny ketchup. Cool, taste and season with salt—it may not need any, depending on the saltiness of your soy sauce but keep in mind that Salsa Negra should be seasoned highly, both to preserve it for longer storage and to make it useful as a seasoning.  Transfer the salsa to a pint-size jar and store, covered, in the refrigerator, where it will last for a month or two.


  1. I saw this recipe in the May 3rd issue of Parade. There was no mention of how it used.

    Is it used in sauces, brushed on veggies etc. ?

    GAIL Lizer

  2. I made it from the Parade recipe and use it on and in a wide variety of foods. My favorite use is in any corn tortilla taco/wrap/quesidilla.
    I took it to work for a charity fund raising taco feast and the salsa won first place out of a couple dozen other salsa’s.

  3. I want to try your Salsa Negra and pork belly tostaditas, but am concerned about it being too spicy hot for some guests. Any words of advice on how hot the salsa as given in your recipe is, or how to tone the heat down if necessary? Many thanks!

    1. It is hot, but not uncomfortable. It has a really nice balance of sweet and heat. If you’re nervous you can simply use less chipotle. Enjoy!

  4. We just couldn’t resist preparing Salsa Negra based on its chipotle base and we are so glad we did! Have yet to use it on Pork Belly Snacks but we have used it on just about everything else and have enjoyed it immensely! We first used it on salmon fillets, grilled in parchment paper. That worked so well we next tried it on grilled chicken breasts as a bbq sauce. Another winner! A little dab on the plate with grilled tenderloin fillets made a wonderful dip for the steak. We’ve even used it on Potage Saint-Germain and it turned it from a pea-green (what else) color to a nice rich, dark, appealing hue. We love soups, stews, and chowders so next we tried Salsa Negra on Boston Clam Chowder. We usually add some hot sauce to the bowl as we eat it so we thought the Salsa Negra and enjoyed another hit. We joked that creamy clam chowder is called Boston Clam Chowder, red is Manhattan Chowder, and we’re coining our dark and spicy clam chowder as “Texas Clam Chowder”! The Salsa Negra recipe works perfectly as is, no need to substitute anything (unless you don’t have piloncillo sugar, then use dark brown sugar). Expect it to be nice and hot with the characteristic smoky flavor of the chipotles in adobo sauce. And don’t forget, the operative word in Salsa Negra is “Salsa”, so use it creatively. Rick Bayless will love you for it!

  5. At Cala in San Francisco, they serve salsa negra together with a very well done sweet potato (black on the outside) and tortillas. Add some gooey sweet potato to a corn tortilla, and a bit of the salsa negra, it’s one of the best, most innovative dishes I’ve ever had. It caused me to come looking for this recipe.

  6. We love this! Mix with black beans (homemade or from a can) and you’ll never go back to plain!

    Careful though…this recipe says two cans…meaning 14 or 15 oz. TOTAL, because you can find 7 oz cans and 15 oz cans or larger

  7. I love this stuff! I just made my 5th or 6th batch of it, since I got that book it was in. I also love the original salsa negra, and always have both of them in the fridge.

    I add some things to the new type, based on the old recipe. I pan roast 7 or 8 cloves of garlic, peel them, and toss them in the blender. And I add 2 or 3 moritas – the smoky flavor is nothing like the original, though it is used in totally different recipes, and is much milder.

    For those who think this is too hot, or, maybe you want it hotter, and don’t have dried peppers, here is my opinion on the heat of the brands that I have tried through the years, starting with the mildest. SAN MARCOS; GOYA; LA COSTEÑA and ROLAND. And my favorite, as well as the hottest, is HERDEZ, though it’s gotten harder to find. It has the strongest flavor, as well as heat, due to the fact that every can would have a morita in it! I haven’t found this in any others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *