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Salsa Negra: an easy, fast sweet and sour chipotle sauce that is absolutely tasty, lasts in the fridge, and can be used in all sorts of delicious ways!

Salsa Negra

Closely adapted from Rick Bayless.
Course condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Author TheSpicedLife


  • 2 7 1/2-oz cans chipotle chiles en adobo
  • 3 T Steen's pure cane syrup
  • 5 T dark brown sugar, packed
  • ΒΌ cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 T water
  • 2 T Chinese light soy sauce
  • 2 T Chinese dark soy sauce


  1. Place the first 5 ingredients (including the adobo sauce with the chipotles) into a blender and puree until quite smooth. Pour into a small saucepan. At this point it will look like this:
    Salsa Negra before cooking
  2. Add the water and on medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium low or low, enough to maintain a gentle simmer. Be careful because this mixture will splatter--you will want to stir it frequently, which will cut down on the splattering.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. You are looking for it to thicken and darken a bit (but not as dark as the finished sauce), kind of like tomato paste.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauces. If you are using the dark soy sauce, which I definitely recommend for its depth of flavor, it will darken the sauce considerably. If needed, add a little water--you want a consistency like runny ketchup.
  6. Place in a sealed container and store in the fridge. Bayless says it will keep for a month or 2; I can confirm that the little I had left from July 23 was still fine this past weekend when I added it to the new batch I made.