Pronounced “pah-SEE-yah” the word Pasilla is derived from the word “Pasa” which translates to “little black raisin”. Pasilla Negros are indigenous to Central Mexico and are a member of the chile species Capsicum annuum. The Dried Pasilla Negro chile is a key chile in the famous “holy trinity” of Mexican chiles used in Mexican moles along with the Ancho and the Mulato chiles.
Like many chiles these are known as one thing when dried and are called something else when fresh. When dried they are called Pasilla Negro, chile negro, chile pasilla and chile pasilla de Mexico. The fresh version is known as Chilaca Chiles and these dark green chiles have a similar heat profile to the more popular Poblano pepper. The fresh chilaca is narrow and grows up to 10” long and usually has a twisted shape, which is not as pronounced when dried. The fresh chilaca chile is also known as pasilla bajio, chile negro or “Mexican negro” because. Chilacas change from dark green to dark brown as they mature.
This thin fleshed chile has one of the more sophisticated chile flavors and is a favorite of chileheads. The taste is pungent and tangy with a long lasting deep rich flavor and woodsy undertones.
Pasilla Negro chiles are considered a mild heat chile and come in at 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
In addition to Mexican moles, Pasilla Chiles are used in adobo sauces and salsas. In central Mexico they're used as the signature flavor in tortilla soup. When used in soup it is more common to add the crushed Pasilla Negro chiles on top of the soup than to have them added to the base during cooking but you can certainly do both for more complex depths of flavor.
This chile is a flavorful ingredient when used in your favorite Mexican recipes such as tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas and toasados but they also work well in cream sauce dishes (especially for fish) and we also like to be a bit adventurous and use them in meat loaf, beef stew or corn chowder.
Pasilla Negro chiles work well in combination with duck, fennel, fruits, garlic, honey, lamb, Mexican oregano, mushrooms and seafood.
There are approximately 3 dried Pasilla Negro Chiles per oz.
A puree of soaked Pasilla Negro chiles will be brownish-black with reddish overtones. Pasillas yield a fair amount of pulp per ounce.
We like to dry toast these before re-hydrating them for maximum flavor. To re-hydrate soak in hot water for 15-20 minutes but be careful to not let them soak for longer than that or they become bitter.
The Pasilla Negro is closely related to one of our favorite hard to find chiles – Pasilla de Oaxaca from the Oaxacan region of Mexico. If you’re a fan of flavorful Mexican chiles then you’ll love our growing selection that includes – Ancho, Cascabel, Chipotle “Moritas”, Guajillo, Puya, de Arbol, Mulato, Habanero, and Pequin.
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The “Chile Capital of the World” grows these peppers that are naturally sun dried.
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