Homemade chamoy sauce is an easy and incredibly tasty way to add some new flavor to your favorite recipes. A perfect mix of sweet and spicy, you will love what this chamoy sauce recipe can do for fruit, drinks, main dishes, side dishes, and even your desserts!
Dried fruits, like apricots and prunes, and honey blend with spicy seasonings and tangy hibiscus flowers create chamoy sauce. Nicknamed Mexico’s favorite condiment, I learned first hand on a recent trip to Mexico why!
When you want to change up your flavor routine without creating a whole new menu, incorporating a new condiment or sauce is a simple way to make an old meal new again! Unlike the variety of tomato-based sides available in the supermarket today, chamoy sauce has so much more versatility!
Traditionally served over chicharrones or as a dip for chips and fruit, this Mexican sauce works as a topping on meats or fish and with many other foods. Each of the various flavor profiles takes the lead depending on how you use it, so don’t be surprised when you notice a different flavor every time you try it on something new. Use it in place of salsa or ketchup and it will quickly become your favorite condiment!
If you’re unsure where to start, try using chamoy sauce over chopped mangoes or with your tortilla chips. Once you try it (and love it!), use it with this grilled sea bass recipe — either drizzled on top or on the side for dipping. You will love it with my bavette steak, too, or on top of these mahi mahi tacos with fruit salsa. The possibilities are endless!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Honey – Granulated sugar can be used in place of honey, but be sure to stir frequently while cooking so that your sugar is completely dissolved.
- Dried Apricots – Full of flavor and packed with nutrients, avoid dried apricots that have added sweeteners.
- Prunes – Subtly sweet with a hint of tang. Look for pitted prunes.
- Dried Hibiscus Flowers – Adding tart and almost sour flavor, hibiscus flowers also give this sauce its red coloring. If hibiscus flowers aren’t available, use cranberries and cranberry juice instead.
- Chili Powder – Provides the spicy layers in this dish. My homemade chili powder recipe works perfectly in this chamoy, or substitute the chili powder with my homemade tajin seasoning. Tajin will give you less heat than chili powder, but a slightly saltier zing!
- Lime Juice – 2 fresh limes will provide ¼ cup of juice for this chamoy sauce recipe. If fresh limes are unavailable, store bought lime juice will work.
HOW TO MAKE CHAMOY SAUCE
- Combine Ingredients. Add water, honey, apricots, prunes, hibiscus flowers, and chili powder to a medium pan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. If using granulated sugar instead of honey, make sure the graininess from the sugar disappears during this step.
- Cool & Blend. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice, then transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree.
- Strain. If you prefer a thinner consistency, press the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp. Transfer to an airtight glass container and store in your refrigerator for up to 2 months.
What Does Chamoy Sauce Taste Like?
Chamoy sauce is an amazing blend of sweet, sour, and spicy! The sweetness of honey, apricots, and prunes blends with the tart hibiscus petals, the sour lime juice, and the spicy chili powder — but none of the flavors are overpowered by another.
This combination is what makes it the perfect condiment for dipping cut fruit like mango, watermelon or jicama, chips and veggies. You can even use it in smoothies or rim a glass before salting for a margarita twist!
Does Chamoy Need To Be Refrigerated?
This chamoy sauce recipe does not need to be stored in the fridge if eaten within a couple days. Be sure to store it in a cool, dark place.
Since there are no preservatives, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. This dish can also be canned for a longer life!
How Do You Make Chamoy Sauce Thicker Or Thinner?
This sauce will automatically thicken as it cools, but you may want it even thicker for a chip or fruit dip. If so, bump up your cooking time to 40 minutes.
Too thick? Add a little more water and mix well before removing your mixture from the heat. Thinner chamoy works better for smoothies or to rim cocktail glasses.
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- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup dried apricots 5 oz or 145g
- 1/2 cup prunes seeded 3 oz or 75g
- 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 6 tablespoons chili powder (See Note 1)
- 1/4 cup lime juice fresh
- In a medium saucepan stir together the water, honey, dried fruit, hibiscus flowers and chili powder (or tajin seasoning, see Note 1). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes, then add the lime juice. Use an immersion blender to puree or transfer to a blender and blend well.
- Check for the liquid consistency (See Note 2). Pour in an airtight glass container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- Use this condiment on fruit like mango, watermelon and pineapple, or vegetables (I love this to dip jicama or cucumber slices in). This also is great drizzled over nachos or served as a dipping sauce for grilled meat. Use it as a rim paste for cocktails, micheladas and beer.
- You can use chili powder in this or tajin seasoning. I used my tajin seasoning recipe you can find here or try my chili powder recipe!
- Press through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pulp if a thinner consistency is enjoyed. I prefer to keep it as is and enjoy the bits and pieces when dipping. As always, you can thin it out with water if preferred.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Would I replace the hibiscus flowers with an equal amount of dried cranberries?