Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tapatio Sauce

Ok, so after almost a 2 year hiatus, WE'RE BACK! And we're no longer 500 miles apart. I've finished grad school and am working in the SF Bay Area in private practice. So Xochi and I have shrunk our distance by about 400 miles which is a great start.

One good thing about having moved is that now I have an amazing garden in my backyard. This amazing garden comes at the price of living with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews-- I'm still evaluating to see if it's worth it. It's a close call. But I feel things coming out in favor of the garden--- and the family.

One great thing about having so much produce is all the crazy canning and food processing that I am learning to do. So in an effort to make use of our jalapenos and our pleuthora of tomatoes I made homemade tapatio sauce. My dad and BIL (brother-in-law) put hot sauce on most everything. I decided that instead of being mildly offended when they smother my phenomenal food with hot sauce, I could take pride in the hot sauce itself and so I have. (Note to my dad, if you're reading this, hot sauce does not belong on a lemon and asparagus risotto. It's not culinarily appropriate).

So back to the project at hand. I made tapatio sauce with ingredients fresh from our garden and it was amazing. If you are going to attempt this recipe I recommend using garden fresh, in season, ingredients. It just tastes better that way. I could have stood a little more heat, but the flavors are wonderful. If you want a bit more kick, use more peppers and cook the sauce for a longer period. The longer peppers have to incorporate into the mixture the spicier the end result.

Here's the recipe (adapted from


7 jalapeno peppers
1 gallon peeled, seeded tomatoes
2 onions
4 green bell peppers (our garden had green, but you can use red if you like)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup canning salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar


To peel tomatoes I followed these directions from ( First of all, put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 - 45 seconds is usually enough). Then, plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water. The skins will slide right off of the tomatoes AND you won't burn the shit out of your fingers in the process! Trust me. I've tried it without the icebath and it's a pain. This way's much better. 

So to be fair, these guys suggest removing the seeds from the tomatoes. I bet that would be cool. I don't have a food mill, and I had just processed 16 quarts of tomatoes before this, so I wasn't about to add a step I felt was tedious and not entirely necessary, however, if you want to remove the seeds, go for it!

Next, chop all the ingredients, combine them with the peeled (and seeded) tomatoes and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use an immersion blender, food processor or blender to create a nice sauce-like texture. Fill half pint canning jars and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

I got about 10 half pint jars from this recipe. Enjoy with your next spicy meal! (Or if you're my dad just cover anything on your plate with it. Love you Daddy!) 


  1. Tony does the exact same thing, he adds spice to whatever I make and it's often this spicy ketchup which he thinks is a bit too sweet. Sarah, I am totally making this!

  2. Xochi! You'll love it! Add more peppers so it will be a little hotter, but it will be fantastic. I'll give you a jar next time I see you :o)