I hope this post gives you permission to improvise some Jalapeno Serrano Hot Sauce using your leftover jalapenos and/or serranos.
Even just a few stragglers will do the trick, even if they've been squatting in the fridge for weeks!
That's what I used for this batch, and the result was a tiny jar of fireball hot sauce that's the perfect final touch on loads of Mexican dishes. And just about everything else too 🙂
How To Make Jalapeno Serrano Hot Sauce
Here's what I started with for this batch, three Serranos and three Jalapenos:
Those are the Serrano chiles on the left. See how they are a bit smaller and thinner?
Here's a comparison of their Scoville rating:
Despite the difference in heat, their flavor is similar enough that I consider them interchangeable. Sometimes you'll notice that Serranos have a sharper, grassier flavor, but the difference can be subtle.
I tend to grab both Serranos and Jalapenos whenever I do a produce fly-by in the grocery store, you'll typically find the Serranos hanging out right next to the Jalapenos. More info on Serranos vs. Jalapenos.
This recipe used 1/2 lb. worth of chiles, and that came out to 3 Jalapenos and 3 Serranos.
Start by cooking 1/4 onion and a single garlic clove in a glug of oil.
You can leave the garlic clove whole as all of this will be blended eventually.
Once the onion is starting to brown you can add the aromatics:
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
pinch of cumin (optional)
freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
I like giving the spices some direct contact with the heat for a minute or so, stirring occasionally.
Then we'll add:
the Serranos and Jalapenos (rinsed and de-stemmed)
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
Bring this up to a simmer, stirring regularly, and then add everything to a blender or food processor along with:
4-5 cilantro sprigs
juice of 1/2 lime
I usually leave it a bit chunky, but you are welcome to blend it fine if you want.
You'll end up with a fireball hot sauce that is:
And delicious 🙂
A few drops will work great as a final touch on all your favorite Mexican dishes: taco, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas.
But I use it on sandwiches and eggs too 🙂
The vinegar gives it that familiar hot sauce tang, but it also helps it to keep longer in the fridge.
This batch fit in an 8 oz. jar and will keep in the fridge for about a month.
But I know it will be gone before that month is up 🙂
And last I want to quickly mention...
I've made so many different hot sauces over the years and I've found them to be wildly forgiving. So please don't feel like you have to mimic this recipe down to the last spice -- if you've got some Jalapenos and/or Serranos laying around then most likely you've got everything you need to make some satisfying hot sauce.
Even just a few chiles is enough to make a batch of delicious hot sauce. I hope this post has proved that!
Tiny Jar of Jalapeno Serrano Hot Sauce
- 1/2 lb. Jalapenos and Serranos (usually about 5-7 chiles)
- 1/4 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 4-5 cilantro sprigs
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- pinch cumin (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Start by giving the Jalapenos and Serranos a good rinse, then cut off the stems and discard them. I usually cut the chiles in half as well. Be sure to use caution when handling hot chiles. I typically just give my hands a good rinse afterwards, but using gloves is a common precaution.
- Roughly chop 1/4 onion and cook it in a glug of oil over medium heat along with a whole, peeled garlic clove.
- Once the onion is starting to brown, add the spices: 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, pinch of cumin (optional), freshly cracked black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt. I usually let the spices have some direct contact with the heat before moving on to the next step, maybe a minute or so, stirring occasionally.
- Then add: the Jalapenos and Serranos, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup water. Combine well and bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add everything to a blender or food processor along with 4-5 cilantro sprigs and the juice of 1/2 lime. Combine well. I usually leave it a bit chunky, but you are welcome to blend it thinner. Serve immediately.
- I prefer glass jars for storage -- I've used both Mason jars and hot sauce bottles in the past. An 8 oz. Mason jar was the perfect fit for this batch, but feel free to use a pint-sized jar if that's what you have on hand.
- Store in the fridge where it will last up to a month.
Here's the latest recipe....Quesadillas Dipped in Avocado Salsa Verde.