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Tomato Salsa Ratio

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is: How do you make salsa? And how do I know how spicy to make it?

Here is a guide to help you figure out the level of spiciness. It is not 100% accurate, of course, because it depends a lot on how hot the chilis you use are, but it may still help you out: the pictures describe what a batch typically calls for with the captions explaining the different quantities.

If you add 1 serrano chili to three tomatoes, as seen in the picture, it will most likely come out as a mild salsa. I put a ¼ of teaspoon of salt and ½ a clove of garlic, which you change to up to one whole clove of garlic and ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt, depending on your taste.  This is a ratio so if you want a larger batch add 3 more tomatoes and 1 more serranos for a total of 2 serranos and 6 tomatoes.

 To make a medium-hot salsa, add one chili for every 2 tomatoes, so for 3 chilis you would add 6 tomatoes. Don’t forget the salt and garlic to taste (½ to 1 teaspoon of salt and  ½ to 1 whole clove of garlic and so on).

To make a chili that is definitely spicy, make a 1:1 ratio of tomatoes and chilis. The picture above is the typical batch I make for the week, and typically lasts about 3 to 5 days.

Of course, you can always play with the quantities, this is just an approximate guide.

Keep in mind that there is no definitive formula for making salsa, since sometimes the peppers will be more spicy and other times more mild, largely depending on the season and how ripe the chili is, but I hope this little guide will be of some help!


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