Salsa de Cacahuate is a Mexican peanut chili sauce, very spicy and creamy with an amazing smoky flavour.
Be aware, this is a very spicy sauce and even though you can adjust the amount of chilli on it, it’s still an extremely hot salsa, nonetheless, so delicious!
What is salsa de cacahuate?
Salsa de cacahuate is a spicy peanut sauce that has been always a favorite in the State where I am from (Colima). It is perfect to serve it specially on crispy tasty antojitos (street food), such as tacos dorados or chicken tostadas, but actually is also amazing with pozole blanco.
The texture of this sauce is smooth, velvety and its color is likely orange-ish. The slightly smoky flavor is because the chilies are roasted in a comal or a skillet pan and are not fried (as many other recipes call for).
The peanuts undoubtedly help this sauce not to be as spicy as, for example, this chile de arbol sauce but still, as I said before, this is a very spicy salsa.
You should definitely toaste them, even if you bought them already toasted, just heat them a little bit on a skillet to allow the oils to release and enhance their amazing flavor.
Recipe (step by step)
De-stem chilies and peel the garlic. If you have peanuts with the skin on, you better clean them as that will add bitterness to the sauce. Set aside.
On a hot skillet (or comal) roast the Arbol chilies at low heat and stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, be careful not to burn the chilies.
Place Arbol chilies on a blender or a mixer. If you want to use a molcajete or mortar instead that’s ok too.
Toast the peanuts for about 5 minutes or until they’re lightly brown and crunchy. If you bought them toasted already just heat them a little on the skillet to allow the oils to release. Place them with the chilies.
Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Pour the hot water and blend for about 2 minutes on high or until you achieve a smoothy sauce.
Taste salsa de cacahuate and adjust with salt if needed. Place in a bowl if you’re serving immediately or into a jar and store in the fridge for later.
Can be stored?
Salsa de Cacahuate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Or it can also be frozen for up to two months on a zip bag or a freeze-proof container.
If you want to keep it in the fridge for more than one week you can also add 2 tablespoons of vinegar, but the taste will change lightly.
Please be extremely careful when roasting the Arbol chilies, they are very hot and release a strong and pungent smell that can cause respiratory problems if you’re not used to it. Open all windows for a better ventilation in the room and turn on the vent hood to full power.
It is also preferable that you do this step when there are no children or the elderly around as they may be more sensitive to the pungent and spicy aroma.
Salsa de Cacahuate (mexican spicy peanut sauce)
- ⅔ cup (100 gr) peanuts
- ⅓ cup (10 gr) Arbol chilies de-stemed
- ¼ (50 gr) onion
- 2 small garlic cloves peeled
- 1 ½ cup hot water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- On a hot skillet (or comal) roast the Arbol chilies at low heat and stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, be careful not to burn the chllies (see notes).
- Place Arbol chillies on a blender.
- Toast the peanuts for about 5 minutes or until they’re lightly brown and crunchy. If you bought them toasted already just heat them a little on the skillet to allow the oils to release. Place them with the chilies.
- Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Pour the hot water and blend for about 2 minutes on high or until you achieve a smoothy sauce.
- Taste and adjust with salt if needed.