Tacos 1986 Salsa Macha

Time10 minutes
YieldsMakes about 1 ½ cups
Salsa Macha
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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Mixing toasted dried chiles with fresh uncooked olive oil results in a salsa that’s more like a sambal or chile oil. While salsa macha often includes nuts, this version uses sesame seeds to impart a nutty taste. Orange zest and juice stand in for the usual vinegar and give the mix a refreshing tang. This recipe comes from Tacos 1986 and serves as a seasoning and accompaniment to Tacos al Hongo.


Salsa Macha


Heat a comal or large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Place both chiles and the garlic on the hot surface in a single layer. Toast, turning often, until the chiles are brittle and a shade darker and the garlic is blistered in spots, 3 to 4 minutes.


Transfer the chiles and garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the oil, sesame seeds and salt. Pulse until well mixed. Zest the orange peel directly into the processor, then halve the orange and squeeze in its juice. Pulse once or twice just to incorporate. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Adapted from Jorge Alvarez-Tostado.
Make Ahead:
The salsa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.