Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles
Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles (pronounced "pah-SEE-yah day wa-HAAK-kah"), Capsicum annuum, are also called pasilla Mixe (pronounced “MEE-hay”), chile de Oaxaca, or Oaxacan pasilla. The locals call this chile ayuuk (pronounced “ah-YOOK”).
Pasilla de Oaxaca chiles are celebrated in the state of Oaxaca and are a major agricultural crop in that region. They are farmed primarily on small-holdings properties, and those locations, and the processing areas where they are cleaned, dried, and smoked are protected by the locals to prevent the seeds and drying techniques from theft.
A top-grade Pasilla de Oaxaca should be clean, pliable, not torn or broken, with a definitively smoky, almost bacon-esque smell and hints of dried fruit in the background.
There are typically 3 Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles per ounce.
One whole Pasilla de Oaxaca Chile = approximately two teaspoons of powder when ground.
These chiles have a sharp, smoky flavor with hints of tobacco and fruit. Their heat comes in late, but it has a bite that lingers.
These chiles are at the low end of what we consider a hot chile, as it measures 15,000 to 20,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
How to Use
With their strangely meaty aroma, Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles are useful for imparting umami, pork-like flavor into foods. Use to season black beans for a rich-tasting Oaxacan Tlayuda without the meat. They are also wonderful in Smoky Oaxacan Shrimp and Grits and Easy Borracho Beans. Add them to sauces like mole, soups, and salsas.
Oaxaca Chile Substitution
Their unique flavor makes Pasilla de Oaxaca tricky to substitute for, but Chipotle Meco Chiles (2,500-10,000 SHU) are deeply smoked and come closest in replicating their flavor. You could also use Chipotle Morita Chiles (2,500-10,000 SHU), though these chiles don’t have as much smoky flavor. They are also milder than the Pasilla de Oaxaca, so you may want to boost the heat a bit with some additional chipotles, or a pinch or two of Cayenne Chile Powder. You can also use equal quantities of chipotle in adobo sauce plus 1 teaspoon sauce per chile.
Country of Origin
Serving Size1 chile, 5g
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*