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What is homemade chili paste supposed to taste like?

I made one with dried chilis and it is spicy, smoky, and bitter. I would not say it tastes good. But it is one element in a new chili recipe. Thoughts?

asked by rldougherty about 2 months ago
7 answers 348 views
23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 2 months ago

It depends entirely on what sort of chiles you use, and whether you leave in seeds (which tend to be a bit bitter), but it wouldn't be something you'd want to chow down by the spoonful- as part of a composed dish, they can be wonderful. Also, of course, depends if you used anything besides dried chiles and water. At any rate, I'd go ahead and finish the recipe, see what you think then.

3163f85f 9ea0 4c51 a0f1 ea1d9a2a7140  stringio
added about 2 months ago

Thank you! Not sure if you are familiar with J. Kenzi Lopez-Alt but I made the chili out of his cookbook and the chili paste from there as well. The chili was okay, but it was not anything special and I felt something had to be wrong. I looked up chili paste recipes, and after finding a different one from him, it used almost half the amount of peppers and twice as much chicken broth. I think the first was way too concentrated. I think this one is going to be better, but wanted to get some insight before adding it to the recipe.

3163f85f 9ea0 4c51 a0f1 ea1d9a2a7140  stringio
added about 2 months ago

And I used 3 anchos, 2 arbols, 3 new mexicos, and 2 chipotles in adobo plus some adobo sauce.

3163f85f 9ea0 4c51 a0f1 ea1d9a2a7140  stringio
added about 2 months ago

They were flexible and leather like. We have a ton of Latino grocery stores. I tasted it while it was about half through cooking and much better.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 2 months ago

That should balance very well- similar to what I use for red enchiladas, actually (I do usually add some onion and a fresh pepper- Ancho usually- for a bit of sweetness. The state of the chiles is important too; they should not be really dry, should be pretty flexible. Good dried peppers are easy to find in California, but I suspect that old, dessicated peppers are more the norm in a lot of places.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 month ago

Just a footnote to the discussion so far. Not sure there is one pattern, one ideal Platonic chili paste or hot pepper sauce. So it's hard to answer the "supposed to taste like" part of your question. I have and make recipes for about half a dozen different types of chili sauce - three harissa (north Africa and middle east), both red & green zhoug (Yemen), home made Sriracha (Rooster) sauce, Thai hot sauce. Some are from cooked, some from raw peppers, some from a mixture. Texture also varies from thick to pure (strained liquid). So if you don't like the recipe you've just made, there are plenty out there to sample and see where your taste lies.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added about 1 month ago

The question was specifically about Tex-Mex style chile pastes (or by extension, Mexican types), which vary mostly by the type of chiles used, but those are once again Tex-Mex and Mexican types.