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How do you tame too hot salsa?

I followed a recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa. The directions warned against removing the jalapeno seeds but I should known it would be too hot. I already add another tomato and I'm not sure what else to do. Maybe I could buy and roast several more tomatillos? Or possibly serve it with something cooling, like over cream cheese?

Has anyone been in this situation before?

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  1. Some lemon juice might help.

    1. If you want to maintain the integrity of the salsa...the only thing to do is make another batch with no jalapeno and mix the two together...Then you will have Roasted Tomatilla Salsa per your recipe....Adding additional "stuff" will only morph it into something entirely different from your intentions...


      1 Reply
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        Best advice I've read! When I make salsa, or anything with fresh minced chiles for that matter, I always seed and devein the chiles first -- that's where the extreme heat lives -- and set them aside. Then when the salsa is finished, if it needs more heat, it's not a problem to mince some of the veins and add seeds and veins a little at a time until I reach the desired level of "picante". And wear gloves!!!

      2. If you planned to serve it as a dip, I think mixing with sour cream or cream cheese would be fine. If not, I agree that the best way is to make a second batch or half batch and mix together. You could try a squeeze of lime, but I don't know that it will be enough.

        1. I just made some tomatillo sauce a couple of days ago. Still working on if I want enchiladas or something else. I don't add tomates to mine. It's chicken broth (knorrs boullion-that's how mmy Mexican friends make it) and jalapeno or serrano. The last batch I made was like yours a little on the hot side. So I bought a couple more tomatillos, added more chicken boullion and water, pureed it and it was much better.

          This last batch, I had a couple of Anaheim chilis that I needed to use, so I charred and peeled them and they went in. Don't add sugar. The tomatillos are tart enough, you really don't need citrus, and then it starts taste different. Just add more tomatillos and go that route. How much can about 6 tomatillos run you?

          1. Add more tomato and a shake of sugar. If you add the tomato and it is too tomatoey then you will need to add a little bit of everything else you added (except the pepper of course). If you cannot do any of that and you have all sorts of time - go thru and try to pick out as many of the pepper seeds as possible. Those are the real culprits. If you dump the salsa in a collander with big holes you may be able to get quite a few of those seeds out with the liquid that remains (capture the liquid in a bowl below the collander.

            1. If you want it to remain as a true salsa, seconding others, saying the only thing to do to tame it and keep the flavor integrities, is to make another batch and mix in a bit at a time until it's perfect to your taste. And depending on how "hot", "hot" is, if you have the time to let it rest overnight, some of that heat will meld into the other ingredients and mellow to a small degree.

              Otherwise, as you've said, it would probably be great poured over cream cheese - and maybe better as you and whoever else could kind of choose their own heat level.

              A quick dip from my party-hearty days was to pour a jar of salsa into a blender with a square of cream cheese and give it a whir until smooth. It was kind of deceiving in that it had a refreshingly cool, pink appearance, but first bite said otherwise. I haven't thought about that in years, but it was always a hit. I liked it with plain potato chips, but corn chips would also be good. The down side of this dip is that it would totally destroy the appearance of your artisan salsa.

              1. You're not saying what else is in the salsa or what style it is, so I will take a shot in the dark and say that more sweet onion, cilantro, lime and canned green chiles would all help and probably not hurt. Certainly add more tomatillos.
                I am assuming you misspoke when you said tomato instead of tomatillo. Don't add any tomatoes!

                1. What is this "too hot salsa" of which you speak?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: chileheadmike

                    lol - I'm with you. I don't get it either.
                    Just make another batch with no (or less) chile. Then you have a batch of salsa for the kids too. One regular, and one that isn't hot.

                    1. re: chileheadmike

                      Shee-it! I shoulda said that... Good one. Probably didn't even make newfoodie break a sweat!

                      FYI: Use ground Cayenne pepper or black or white pepper for the "up front" heat. Don't use Tobasco or other hot sauces because of their vinegar content, unless you really want that taste. Chiles give you the "back taste", that is, the back of the tongue and throat heat.

                      1. re: Scargod

                        Cayenne is a chili pepper. And as to the receptors on *my* tongue, red peppers' heat hits the front of my tongue and lips, black pepper (more taste than heat) hits the middle and white pepper leaves a pleasant, lingering warm heat at the back of my mouth.

                        And just as point of clarification.... I don't think I've ever seen a bowl of Tex-Mex salsa with anything BUT red tomatos and I luv 'em! Tomatillo is used more in Mexican, Mex-Mex and Southwestern styles of salsas.

                        1. re: CocoaNut

                          Perhaps you are sensing these correctly. However, cayenne is much hotter than a jalapeno and it is dried and ground which may affect how the capsicum is released. I am not an expert, but am referring to several things I have read and speciffically about using peppers in chili (the meat dish).
                          I would totally disagree that Tex-Mex salsas are one dimensional tomato varieties. Perhaps the classical Tex-Mex version has cooked tomatoes, but there are others and then there are the sauces, served alongside salsas that lean toward purer dried/ground chiles.
                          "Tex-Mex" was never mentioned till you did, but it is not unusual to see tomatillo salsa in a Tex-Mex joint, especially on fish and chicken. I agree it's more common as a Mexican-Southwestern thing.

                          1. re: Scargod

                            >> "Perhaps the classical Tex-Mex version has cooked tomatoes"

                            Correct - however, not always cooked. Often times, fresh salsas are found and are really refreshing.

                            1. re: CocoaNut

                              You are absolutely correct, but I didn't think I had to say that. All Texans know that.
                              When I make or eat salsa I much prefer salsa al fresca. Too often restaurants make salsa with off putting cooked tomatoes and not much else.

                      1. I made some salsa myself this weekend with roasted habeneros, red peppers and garlic. It was very delicious, but no one would have been able to eat it except me. As my wife was choking on the spiciness I looked at the peaches in the bowl on the bar and said to myself, hmm. I added two peaches which I just mashed with my hands. It brought the heat down significantly and gave it little bit of sweetness.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sekelmaan

                          Great thought to do that. It's not uncommon to use peaches in a spicy application. I recently bought at peach based BBQ sauce. Used it on grilled chicken last week and it was quite nice.

                          1. The best advice is to make a second, non picante batch. However you can cut spiciness with acid. Adding sweetness or anything non-acidic will do nothing to the heat. The chemical that makes it spicy is capsaicin, which is a base. Adding acid will help neutralize that, but you will dramatically change the flavor of your dish in the process. That's not altogether a bad thing, but not the original recipe you were going for. Citrus juice is the most common acid used to balance spice, go for lemon, lime, or orange. Vinegar is also a good option, just be careful with the flavored varieties as you could destroy the tastiness. Serving with dairy (lactic acid) is common in many cuisines for this same reason, so you could use the salsa as an ingredient in a dip or add a small amount to something like cheese enchiladas, quesadillas, etc.

                            1. Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions! I went with the majority here and made a second batch without the jalapeno and added that to the original batch. Next time I use hot peppers, I will be sure to seed them first!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: newfoodie

                                or one serrano seeds and all works well:)

                              2. I just made my gallon of salsa too hot... I came to this site, which said acid, like lime, so I squeezed fresh lime into it. I should have used 1/4 of lime, I used 1/2 and now I took too much heat out!! BUT I would rather serve it not hot enough that ruin my quests taste buds!! NOW I understand why the Mexican resturants all serve their dinners with fresh lime!! I'm 69, so it just tells ya, you are never too old to learn something!!