It’s Cinco De Mayo! Let’s make some (mild) Hot Sauce!

Mexico to Sweden: “It’s Cinco De Mayo!”

My own pictures were erased: but this will work.

My own pictures were erased: but this will work.


Since I grew up in California, I know first hand the kind of fiestas that go down when Cinco De Mayo comes around. In honor of this year’s holiday, I decided I would be contrary to what’s popular and try cooking something non-traditionally Mexican since I’ve been on the “authentic” and “from scratch” wagon for awhile. I want to be a rebel.

So I decided to try making a homemade version of the mild hot sauce that comes in those little packets at Taco Bell: say what you will about Taco Bell, that sauce is golden. I know all my Slow Food friends will be knocked off their high horse right about now, but I have a conflict in my beliefs when it comes to Taco Bell, sorry.

After doing a little research online I decided to try out a recipe from Todd Wilbur as retold by the blog “cooking with Jack” and I have to say it was really close to the real thing! Pretty good either way- and easy. I think I will tweak the recipe a bit next time and use an different kind of vinegar and add a smoked chilli pepper of some sort for a little more complexity.

Here’s what you’ll need (be warned: this makes a lot of mild hot sauce):

3 cups (6 dl) water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 6-ounce can (175 ml. tube) tomato paste
3 tablespoons white vinegar
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

(Watch his video for instructions: but basically, dissolve cornstarch into water in a pot. Turn on the heat and add all the dry stuff, then add the rest, bring to a boil then down to a simmer for 5 minutes- done)

I stored the sauce in jars and used it on tacos (of course), but also made a good enchirito (enchilada + burrito) with it… and anyone who knows me knows the trouble I’ve gone through to make enchilada sauce from scratch in Sweden. The sauce is a little thick for a hot sauce, so it works well. You could also use a bit in chili con carne or in a soup base. It is totally worth the effort…