Mother Sauce: Salsa Verde

Roy Choi

Lesson time 10:00 min

Get ready to turn it up a notch. From the smoking grill it’s cooked on to the kick it leaves in your mouth, Roy’s salsa verde brings some serious heat.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Blending Your Salsa Verde


ROY: Warning, this class contains some bad -ing-- [BLENDER WHIRRING] --language. We're making salsa verde, y'all, which literally means "green sauce" in Spanish. It's common throughout Mexico, but to me, salsa verde is the ultimate LA sauce. [MUSIC PLAYING] We're going to char all of our vegetables and fruits over here. Let me bring them over. I'll just bring the whole tray over. Why not? So we're going to add a little bit of oil there. The first thing we'll do is we'll add our jalapenos. We'll add our serranos here, our tomatillos, our garlic cloves, and our scallions. This is about a medium to high heat. You can do this with a little bit of oil or you could do it dry in a cast iron pan, as well. We're cooking, but we're not cooking through. We're not trying to cook these aromatic vegetables and fruits to where they're completely soft and fully broken down. What we're trying to do is we're trying to blister the outside of them so that we get some charred flavor and also a little bit of complexity within our salsa. There's a lot of patience in cooking and the patience is a part of the recipe. You can't just turn this motherfucker up and just like blast it with a flame torch on top and just force the process, because then what you're doing is you're just creating fool's gold. You're just creating a situation where it looks like you charred it, but you haven't really broken down everything that you need to. What we're doing is we're charring the outside and creating a different texture and flavor profile. And we're introducing not only char, but ash and caramelization. The heat is also breaking down the fibers in the inside of these vegetables, as well. And as you can see already here on the scallions, they're starting to wilt. The garlic, which is a hard clove, this will start to soften. The chilies will become more fragrant and a little bit sweeter, as well. And then the tomatillos, they'll start to just loosen up and become more fragrant. Cooking is also about not only sight and smell, but it's also about phonics, about hearing. Now if this stuff was ripping and I heard like all kinds of weird like clanking sounds and whizzing or I didn't hear anything at all, then I would know something's wrong. But because it's gently hitting these sleigh bells, I know something's right. So for me, this color, this char, I don't want to take it much more because then the scallion itself will be too cooked. It'll be too soft. But like this one right here, I love it, all right? So I'm going to take that one off. But see, I can compare that to this, which is not completely there yet. And the miniscule difference between that and this is cooking. Even the most professional chefs, even on this platform, there's always room for feel, because even if you have that roadmap of everything, every stove's going to be different. Every flame's going to be different. Every tomatillo's going to be diffe...

About the Instructor

Roy Choi wasn’t trying to start a revolution when he took tacos, kimchi, and more to the Los Angeles streets with the Kogi BBQ taco truck. He just wanted to make what he loved and knew by heart: immigrant-influenced all-American food. Now he’s teaching you his recipes, sauces, and techniques. Learn how to cook with your instincts using equipment you already have—and start adding your own twist to tried-and-true favorites.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Roy Choi

Food truck “godfather” Roy Choi teaches you his signature recipes and mother sauces—then empowers you to make them your own.

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