Pronounced “Pah-SEE-yah day Waa-HAAK-kah”. The Pasilla de Oaxaca chile is not well known in the US but it is gaining in popularity among serious chile heads who enjoy it’s deep smoky flavor. In the hilly region of Oaxaca in southern Mexico these long pasilla chilles are smoked. While we in the US are much more familiar with the smoked chipotle (smoked jalapenos) the Pasilla Oaxaca possesses a bit less heat than the chipotle but twice the smokiness.
This under appreciated chile is very wrinkled, tapered from 1-1/2” at the top down to a little less than 1” at the bottom and is about 4” long, It is a shiny deep reddish mahogany in color. The skin is thin and the flavor profile is best described as a sharp smoky flavor with hints of tobacco and a biting heat that lingers. The Pasilla de Oaxaca is considered a medium heat chile and comes in at 4,000 to 10,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
There are approximately 6 chiles per ounce and these are packed by hand per order for maximum flavor.
Pasilla de Oaxaca is popular in vegetarian dishes with a rich smokiness that brings out a bacony ham flavor without the actual fatty meat. Also used in the famous “mole negro”, Latin style bean dishes, soups, sauces and in a regional favorite - rellenos.
It is best to soften your dried Pasilla Oaxaca before using. We also like to toast them in a hot skillet until just as their aroma is released for even more flavor. Then to reconstitute your chiles - completely submerge with hot water, cover and let sit for about 20 minutes. Then drain and rinse under cold water. You can then split them open, remove the seeds and stuff (if you are making reallenos) or you can add to tear into smaller pieces, add to your blender with enough liquid to make a paste and add them to a sauce.
If you haven’t used a Pasilla de Oaxaca Chile before we recommend using a bit less than a recipe calls for the first time so that you can better gauge the heat (you can always add more or less next time). If you find that you’ve used too much you can also add some pureed tomatoes to mute the heat a bit.
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