Chipotles en adobo


Okay so don’t even bother reading any further unless you like your food spicy. Super spicy. This chilli paste is NOT for the faint hearted. It’s for those full of cold, who need their heads blowing off, or for that guy from man versus food: it’s not for spice wimps. Used as a salsa/spread/chutney/ketchup this is searingly hot. I just served chicken and corn tossed in around 3tbpns of the stuff. I loved it. Scott suffered. But The poor boy had sour cream to hand so he was fine after a little bit of eye watering and nose running, so don’t feel too bad for him. Personally, I love a bit of heat. Particularly in cold food. Thai salads etc. You can make more sense of chilli heat without the temperature heat distorting things.

Anyway, I digress. Back to this sauce which is hot, smoky and totally delicious. I’m going to be stirring it into chillis and enchiladas, maybe smearing it on some steak or grilled fish. I am already salivating!

This recipe is tweaked slightly from Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Food Made Simple. Use with caution!


You will need:

55g dried chipotles
Bunch of oregano, leaves picked
1 tspn crushed cumin seeds
150ml cider vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
3 tbspn sugar
1 tspn salt
6 garlic cloves
1/2 small white onion, chopped
200g passata
Olive oil


1 – Place the chipotles in a large pan and cover them generously in water. Bring to the boil and cook for 40 minutes until the chillis are soft
2 – Meanwhile place the oregano leaves, garlic, onion and cumin in a deep bowl. Once the chillis are cooked, drain them and reserve the liquid. Add 1/3 of the chillis and around 100ml cooking liquid to the bowl with the oregano and onion and use a stick blender to purée.
3 – Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the purée. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, then tip in the passata, salt, sugar, vinegars and the remaining whole chillis.
4 – Leave the mix to simmer gently for 5 minutes or so then blend if you like. You can also leave the sauce chunky if you prefer.



4 thoughts on “Chipotles en adobo

    1. Oh really? I’ve never made it before now so can’t compare to one made without vinegar but it would be interesting to see the difference. The recipe called for a fair old whack of it!

  1. Oh Becky! Chilli girls unite (and poor long suffering boys… well, Aaron uses milk or yoghurt so I don’t feel too sorry for him either). Chipotles en adobo are one of my very favourite things but for some reason I’ve never thought to make my own! I usually buy it in a can at my local continental store. Definitely trying this. Such a great post! xx

    1. Yes indeed, I love heat. And smoky chipotle heat has got to be one of the best. Although I do love a good fruity scotch bonnet to make your eyes pop! I’ve never eaten chipotles en adobo, well I might have at wahaca (Thomasina Miers Mexican joint over here) but if I did It wasn’t that hot. Glad you’re inspired to try it! Think you’ll love it.

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