Chiles toreados are what we call peppers that are sauteed with a little oil until they soften and blister, they are a popular topping served at taquerias. Typically the chiles used are either jalapeños or serranos, but as you can see I also like to make them using fiery habanero peppers.
The recipes for chiles toreados varies greatly with some only choosing to saute the peppers with a little oil until they soften. Others like to add lime juice and salt, and many others like to combine the blistered chiles with soy sauce. Yep, that’s right, soy sauce! Someone once told me that the soy sauce started in Chinese restaurants in Mexico, where they would serve the sauted chiles then pour the soy sauce over them. It’s an insanely delicious combination so it’s really no wonder that this became popular all over the country.
I love the addition of soy sauce and will share that recipe version another time.
In the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, habanero peppers are the chile of choice for so many dishes. When you sit down at a restaurant you’ll always be offered some sort of habanero salsa — or if you’re lucky whole or chopped habaneros swimming in lime juice will be brought to your table. We’ve been spoiled by this so hubby and I have really grown to love these insanely fiery peppers.
When I have a bit too many habaneros in the fridge I love to prepare them toreados, like you see pictured here. It is so easy to put together and they will add not only heat, but a depth of flavour that will truly transform whatever it is that you eat them with.
You will see in my recipe that I add several extra ingredients to my chiles toreados. It may not be the traditional recipe but it is a combination of different flavours that come together to create an explosion of heat and tastes.
These little (yet powerful) chilies are so delicious with the sweetness from the red onions and the citrusy of the limes.
- 3 large limes, juiced
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil of your choice
- half a teaspoon of coarse sea salt, adjust to your taste
- very large pinch of muscovado sugar (light brown sugar)
- 14 Whole, fresh habanero peppers* (any colour you like), stems removed
- One small purple onion, sliced into thin slices
- 5 whole cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, more if needed
- Start by combining the lime juice, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, the salt and the sugar in a small bowl. Stir until well combined then set aside.
- Wear gloves to handle and avoid chile burns from the habaneros! For this step do be warned that you need to open a window or be ready for the possible effects of cooking the habaneros -- for me it usually involves a lot of coughing and sneezing. (lol) Pour the 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large pan then add the purple onion slices and sauté until they begin to soften. Now add all of the habaneros and sauté until they soften and begin to brown a bit -- make sure you keep stirring often to prevent burning. Lastly add the Gallic and sauté just until it softens -- about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl large enough to hold them.
- Pour the lime mixture (from step 1) over the cooked habaneros and stir until well combined. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving, or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy and be ready for some fire in your mouth!
If you'd like to tone down the heat a bit you can remove the seeds and vein from all of the habaneros -- but even so this will still be spicy!