Ever wonder what gives pozole rojo its beautiful red color? It’s the chile guajillo. It is by far one of the most versatile chiles in traditional Mexican cooking, and it is a must have in the kitchen. If you want to give your salsas a bright red color, the chile guajillo is your answer. If you are looking to make a delicious pambazo, you will want to pick up some chile guajillo. If you would like to make some gorgeous red enchiladas, throw in some guajillo. The great thing is, this chile is becoming more readily available at local supermarkets. If you have never used dried chiles in your cooking, this one would be great to start with.
Name: Chile Guajillo
AKA: It is usually not known by other names.
Fresh Chile Name: When fresh, this chile is called the mirasol chile.
Description: These chiles are smooth and shiny. They have a deep red color, almost like a ruby. They are long and slender and usually measure about 4” (10 cm) long and 1” (3 cm) wide. Guajillos have a tough, leathery skin which requires you to soak them longer than other chiles. Sometimes, you can even toast them to add more flavor, but be careful. If you toast them for too long, they will become bitter. You should toast them until they are slightly fragrant. Then, remove them from the heat immediately.
Flavor and Heat: The chile guajillo is a mild heat pepper ranging from 2,500-5,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale. It is slightly sweet with a very light, earthy undertone. It is usually accompanied in sauces by other chiles which add more heat and flavor. It is mainly used for its beautiful red color.
Substitutions: Chile Cascabel, Chile Puya, New Mexico Chiles
Other Information: Guajillo chiles are one of the most common types of dried peppers used in Mexican cooking. Guajillo means “little gourd” because of the rattling sounds the seeds make when shaking the dried pepper.
What is your favorite recipe with chile guajillo?