Tomato Arbol salsa is that red salsa sitting at the far end of the salsa bar that screams spicy. A simple blend of tomato, onion and fiery Arbol chile peppers come together to give you the red kick that is so essential to a steak taco. It seems so simple but believe me it will give your taco night a swift kick of heat.
I picked up a copy of Tacopedia, an epic book about tacos a few years back and it has become my guide for salsa making. When it comes to salsa, I crave a taste of the street taco stand so “authentic” is what I am aiming for. The Google seems to place priority on food bloggers who share salsa recipes sandwiched in between red velvet cupcakes and avocado toast. This ain’t that kinda of salsa because Tacodpedia is coming at you from the streets of Mexico. You can put this on a chip but this salsa is meant for Carne Asada, Birría and Barbacoa.
Tomato Arbol salsa is just that when it comes to ingredients plus some onion, salt and vinegar to taste. It’s all going into the blender but regardless I like to give the tomato and onion a rough chop.
As always I like to toast my chile peppers in a hot pan. It releases oils and a bit of bite in the air. Literally it gets my wife coughing a touch so you might want to open a window, run the vent hood or handout Covid-19 masks.
After I get a good color on the peppers, it all goes into a blender. This is a salsa that is meant to be smooth so let it rip on the Vitamix.
Into a pan it goes to simmer for a few minutes. The tomato is raw so there is benefit to this step: you’re adding a layer of umami to the salsa. See and you thought you were getting authentic Mexican and there I go hitting you with that Japanese flavor profile. This is also the step add salt and vinegar to your liking. For some reason I just love adding white vinegar to my salsas. It’s my go to vinegar and so damn cheap.
And that is all she wrote my friends. Tomato Arbol salsa. Easy, cheap, authentic and good on steak tacos. But hey, seeing is believing right?
See? I told you.