Chile de árbol

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Chile de árbol

Chile de árbol is a very spicy, yet incredibly flavorful dried chile. It is small, but elongated and thin. It has a deep and shinny orange-red color and it is used in many, many ways. It is often crushed for very spicy table salsas, though it is also used to add flavor and a bit of heat if not opened when cooking, amongst others.

It goes by other names like bravo because of its heat (aggressive), and pico de paloma (doves peak) or cola de rata (rat’s tale) because of its thin and pointy physique. It is also called Sanjuanero, I have still yet to find out why. It is eaten throughout Mexico and can be found almost anywhere in the US.

20 comments on “Chile de árbol

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  1. We love rehydrating chiles de árbol in our tomatillo salsa. I didn’t know about them at all until after I watched some of your shows a couple years ago. Thanks you!

  2. Hola Pati, quisiera saber por que la salsa de chile de arbol me sale últimamente sin picar. Que le podría agregar para que salga con buen sabor?

  3. Pati, I would like to make your Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower with Queso Cotija Dressing. It sounds so good!

    Excuse my ignorance, but the chiles de arbol are purchased as dried chiles? And in this recipe are they simply chopped dry, without doing anything to reconstitute the chiles in liquid? And finally, if my family prefers a heat level somewhere between mild and medium, would you recommend using one less chile, or would that compromise the flavor?

    Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for your help!

    1. The chiles de arbol in this recipe don’t need to be rehydrated. You use them like you would red pepper flakes…small chopped up flakes for an added kick. You can absolutely adjust the amount you use to your family’s taste. I hope they enjoy it!

  4. Hi Pati! My husband and I LOOOVE authentic Mexican food, especially anything with dried chile peppers in it. I was wondering what you would suggest as a good “go to” dried chile pepper to keep on hand for frequent use in cooking? I’d be looking for one with just a little kick, not too hot. I was thinking of the Ancho Chile but I’m not sure how hot that one is. Thoughts? Thanks! 🙂

  5. Lil’ place by my work serves tiny containers of this bright red, very watery salsa with their food. I finally asked what was in it and they said it was just chile de arbol. I don’t even think they roast the chiles since its still bright red and not a dark brown like some I’ve roasted at home. I would LOVE to figure out the recipe. Nothing else dark red or green in the salsa. I’m hoping you might know of recipe Ü Love your website! So many of our favorite Mexican recipe come from you! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi,
      Here in Kansas the Mexican Restaurants serve a version called Salsa Picosa. It is a orange color also with very little seeds in it. They tell me it is made from Chili de Arbol’s and Tomitalla’s. I have yet to duplicate it. Every time I try to duplicate it turns out more green than orange with lots of the seeds from the Tomitalla’s and peppers, when I increase the peppers it just seems to make it hotter and still greenish.
      Any suggestions?
      Thanks
      Randy in Kansas