If you are a dedicated food lover you’ve probably already watched the new Netflix show Street Food in Latin America that brought us amazing (and delicious) food stories straight to our screens.
And if you’ve watched the episode on Oaxaca, aside from the tlayudas and aguas frescas, you most likely drooled over Doña Vale’s simple but amazing memelas.
(Here’s the trailer to freshen up your memory)
Well let me tell you I’ve had the chance to try Doña Vale’s memelas many times and they are of course amazing BUT what really makes the dish it’s her amazing tomatillo and morita salsa.
So after a few trials and errors I finally came up with the recipe that comes the closest to the taste I have stored in my memory, and now I’m sharing all my knowledge with you. (Please scroll all the way down for the recipe)
Step by Step
After getting rid of the sticky husk, you should boil your tomatillos for about 10 minutes or until they have completely changed their color.
Skip this step if you are using canned tomatillos as they have already been processed.
Please beware of the chilies when roasting them do not take your eyes off them as they can burn really fast right after puffing up. You want the change in color but you don’t want them completely burned. Also, your whole house will fill with chilli smoke and you might start coughing a little bit, nothing to worry.
Right after roasting the chiles you have to fry them to give them some extra flavor. Get rid of the stems and try to get as many seeds out as possible. Remember to be extra careful with touching your eyes or face during the rest of the day!
Roasted & Fried
First thing you’ll put in the molcajete or mortar will be the garlic and a pinch of salt. Keep grinding until it becomes a paste. You will barely be able to see it, but don’t worry, the flavor will be there.
After working hard on the onions (don’t worry that’s the hardest part) you can add the roasted chiles, and if they are in the right texture it will be really easy to dissolve them into the whole mix.
Please remember to press the tomatillos carefully, as they will most likely splat all over the kitchen counter when you first try to press them. Do not over work, you want some chunks to give it a little bit of texture.
Add some salt if needed and that’s it! Now you can try it with a warm tortilla or on a taco or whatever you want to try it with.
As always, please let me know if you do try out the recipe, I wanna hear about it!
Dona Vale’s Salsa
A salsa inspired in the Famous Doña Vale from Oaxaca's Central de Abastos Market
6 Dried Morita Chili
2 Cloves Garlic
Boil the tomatillos with enough water until they change color.
On a comal or skillet, grill the onion chopped in eighths and the peeled garlic.
Remove when they're cooked and have changed texture.
Put the comal on a low to medium heat and add the chiles. Keep your eyes on them at all times and turn them as soon as they change color, until they're completely dark but not burned.
Remove chiles from comal.
Put a little bit of oil on the comal or skillet and slightly fry the chiles.
Remove stems and seeds from chiles, very carefully with a knife.
In the mortar, start working on the garlic and add a pinch of salt.
Slowly add onions & 4 chiles. Keep grinding until it becomes a paste.
Carefully add the tomatillos one by one.
Try the heat and decide whether you want to add the rest or if you're going for a mild salsa.
Enjoy with your favorite taco or with some memelas!
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