If you read about original Salsa Macha, you’ll see that there is a reason for its name. Salsa Macha comes from Veracruz region that features extremely hot chile peppers comapeños available only locally. It’s a truly fiery condiment. When this salsa is made in other regions of Mexico, comapeños are replaced with other hot peppers (e.g., arbol). I admired this condiment not so much for its heat, but for the bold and intense flavors. To adjust it for my palate, I combine my favorite dry and fresh red chile peppers, which are fruity and smokey, but pretty mild.
The beginning is always the same — sauté some diced onions and grated carrots in melted butter and cream for color. Because beta-carotene in a carrot is fat soluble, this step is important for the final color of the soup and for making the best use of the nutrient. The rest in this recipe is variable — adjust it to your taste and diet!
every passionate cook insists on developing their own, perfect to their taste recipe. Where all these marinade variations come from? What was at the beginning? Now that we know about basic adobo, let’s compare ingredients, shall we?
In Mexican cuisine, adobo is a dark red, flavorful paste made from ground chiles. Some herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients (e.g., citrus juice or vinegar) are added. It can be used as a marinade and as cooking or serving sauce. The word adobado is an adjective to describe dishes where adobe is used as cooking sauce. Adobo heat level depends on chiles used for making it. Ancho Adobo is very mild. A combination of Ancho and Chipotle Meco is my favorite.
Holubtsi are part of my Ukrainian tasting menu Bud’mo!. This recipe is adjusted to local ingredients and I jokingly describe it as UkrTexMex.
There are many similar sauces in different regional cuisines. Fermented chilies are used for making some variations of famous Thai sriracha. There are popular Louisiana hot chili pepper souses that also use fermentation to add subtle acidity to the taste. The taste of fermented sauces is very different from mass production sauces with vinegar. It is more complex and intelligent. This recipe is for a very mild sauce. It allows to modify the level of heat by changing the ratio of sweet and hot peppers.
Tom Yam Kung (prawns or seafood combo) and Tom Yam Gai (chicken) are the most popular variations of Tom Yam outside of Thailand. They are made with fresh readily-available ingredients, they are easy to make, and they are beautiful, low-calorie soups. Vegans can use recipes where the shrimp paste and fish sauce are substituted with plant-based ingredients. The best way to substitute is to make your own Thai chili and curry pastes, stir-fry sauces, and salad dressings. Once you make your own vegetarian Nam Prik Pao, it’s only a matter of minutes to cook a vegetarian Tom Yam.