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Last Updated on November 30, 2022

Last week in the supermarket, I stumbled upon a bottle of chamoy sauce while looking for a sauce to pair with my barbecue. I’ve never had it before, but after trying it, I got hooked! It’s packed with different flavors that surprisingly work well in any dish.

close up of chamoy sauce recipe

As a result, I tried making chamoy sauce at home, and now, it’s become my go-to condiment for meals and snacks. If you want to try a sauce or dip bursting with flavor, I’ll share this easy homemade chamoy sauce recipe.

But before getting into the recipe, here’s some quick information on what you’ll be making.

What Is Chamoy Sauce?

Chamoy sauce is a popular Mexican condiment made from boiled and pureed dried apricots, dried hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica), lime juice, and Tajin seasoning. This mix produces an addictive and distinctive sweet, sour, and salty sauce. Many people also mix chile de arbol (Mexican chili peppers) to add more sweet and spicy flavors to the sauce.

Food historians say that chamoy originated from Chinese immigrants who brought Prunus mume, the same fruit used for Japanese umeboshi (pickled plum). The Cantonese pronounce the fruit as see mui (see-moy), and the Spanish eventually call it chamoy.

Today, chamoy sauce is topped on Mexican street food, mixed in a Mexican dish, and drizzled on fresh fruit or dessert. You’ll also find chamoy sold as wet or dried plums and candies. The recipe also developed, allowing you to make chamoy using most pickled fruit.

If you’re curious about how it tastes, you can make this homemade sauce in a few simple steps!

Ingredients

ingredients to make chamoy sauce

Before starting, make sure the following ingredients are available in your pantry:

  • ¾ cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup prunes
  • ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica)
  • 6 tablespoons Tajin seasoning
  • 4 dried chiles de arbol (Mexican chile peppers)
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

If you can’t find dried apricots, replace them with tamarind, plums, or mangoes. You can also substitute prunes with raisins. Similarly, you can use fresh fruit instead of dried fruit.

Meanwhile, a good substitute for hibiscus flowers is unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate. Some say using hibiscus tea also gives a flavor similar to the flowers. Also, use brown sugar or cane sugar if you don’t have white sugar at home.

If you don’t want a spicy sauce, remove chile de arbol from the ingredients. Otherwise, you can substitute the pepper with your favorite chili powder, pepper, or hot sauce.

Feel free to adjust the measurements and substitute the ingredients based on your dietary preference and food availability. However, note that Tajin seasoning (Mexican chili-lime spice) is an irreplaceable ingredient, as it contributes to the chamoy sauce’s signature taste.

Instructions

After preparing your ingredients, make sure your equipment is also ready, like a saucepan, blender (or food processor), and strainer. Now, let’s start cooking!

1. Boil and Simmer the Ingredients

As a result, I tried making chamoy sauce at home, and now, it’s become my go-to condiment for meals and snacks. If you want to try a sauce or dip bursting with flavor, I’ll share this easy homemade chamoy sauce recipe.

Start by putting your dried apricots, dried hibiscus flowers, prunes, Tajin seasoning, chiles de arbol, sugar, and water into a medium saucepan. Then, bring the saucepan to a boil.

Once it boils, cover it, and let it simmer for around 15 to 20 minutes or until the fruits soften. You may stir once in a while if it’s sticking to the bottom of your saucepan.

Next, set your saucepan aside and let the mixture cool for a few minutes to prevent accidents with your blender. Note that mixing hot liquid in a blender can cause it to expand and explode. So, allow your sauce to cool completely before transferring it to the blender.

2. Blend or Process the Sauce

As a result, I tried making chamoy sauce at home, and now, it’s become my go-to condiment for meals and snacks. If you want to try a sauce or dip bursting with flavor, I’ll share this easy homemade chamoy sauce recipe.

After cooling your mixture, it’s time to pour it into a blender or food processor. Mix your chamoy sauce until you reach your desired consistency.

I prefer a chamoy sauce with a thin and smooth consistency, so I leave it in the blender for a while. However, you can also roughly blend your mixture if you prefer a bit of chunk in your sauce.

You could also add the lime juice before blending. However, I prefer putting it at the last step, so I can adjust the tanginess if needed.

And if the mixture is too thick, feel free to add more water to thin it out.

3. Strain the Mixture

To make chamoy sauce thinner and smoother, run it through a fine mesh sieve. I noticed that straining it also helps remove any pulp left in the mixture and gives it a velvety sauce consistency.

You can skip this step if you prefer thick and chunky sauce. However, I still recommend straining the sauce to remove the pulp and any unwanted particles in the mixture.

I usually run the sauce through the strainer once, but feel free to strain it a few times if you’d like.

4. Season According to Taste

As a result, I tried making chamoy sauce at home, and now, it’s become my go-to condiment for meals and snacks. If you want to try a sauce or dip bursting with flavor, I’ll share this easy homemade chamoy sauce recipe.

After getting your desired consistency, add the lime juice and salt to the sauce. I noticed that putting the lime juice in the last step gives the sauce extra freshness.

Also, you can add more citric acid to increase its tanginess and cane sugar to make it sweeter. If you like it extra spicy, sprinkle more Tajin seasoning or a pinch of cayenne powder into your sauce.

Overall, taste your sauce and adjust seasonings according to your preference. The best thing about chamoy sauce is it’s highly customizable, and you’ll get its signature taste if you have its key ingredients, like the Tajin, dried fruits, and lime.

How to Store Homemade Chamoy Sauce

Make sure to store your sauce inside an airtight, covered container, like a mason jar.

If you’re going to freeze it, one method you can try is freezing your sauce in ice cube trays and then transferring them to a freezer-safe container or bag. You’ll need to thaw the cubes individually when you’re about to use them.

This homemade chamoy sauce can last up to two months in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer. You can make a large batch to get a continuous supply of the sauce for the next few months. However, I highly recommend consuming your sauce within just a few months to keep its freshness.

Tips to Serve Chamoy Sauce

I love that this sauce is super versatile. You can serve and enjoy chamoy sauce in various ways, from snacks to meals. If you don’t know which food to pair it with, here are some suggestions:

Top the Sauce on the Fruits

One popular way to enjoy chamoy sauce in Mexico is by topping it on freshly cut or cubed fruits. The sauce’s sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors complement fruits well, giving it an addictive flavor profile.

It goes well with fresh mango, apple, pear, pineapple, peach, papaya, cucumber, watermelon, orange, strawberry, plum, and nectarine. Since the sauce works with any fruit, the combinations are endless!

To serve, you can cut the fruits into cubes, place them in a bowl or platter, and drizzle the chamoy sauce. You can also do it like its street-food version by placing the fruits in a small plastic cup and topping it off with the sauce.

Serve With Vegetables

This spicy sauce also works as a dip or topping for vegetables, and it’s often paired with jicama (Mexican turnip), celery, carrot, potato, and sweet potato (try my sweet potato fries). 

Serve it by cutting the vegetables into batons of around eight millimeters in thickness and placing the chamoy sauce on top or the side. Depending on your preference, you can serve the vegetables raw or blanched.

You can also try making a vegetable taco with chamoy sauce or a grilled vegetable salad with chamoy dressing. Regardless if you eat the vegetables fresh or cooked, the sauce will give them a pop of flavor.

Mix With Drinks

I never imagined chamoy sauce would work in drinks and cocktails, but it does. 

Mango chamoyada or mangonada is a popular Mexican slushy spiked with tequila and chamoy. Most people pour the chamoy sauce on the rim and top it off with Tajin seasoning for that extra kick and flavor.

Other cocktails you can try making with chamoy sauce include a michelada and a Caesars rimmed with chamoy sauce. For non-alcoholic drinks, try making a refreshing chamoy mango sunrise.

Drizzle on Cold Desserts

Combining chamoy sauce with different desserts balances its sweetness and brings a range of flavors to the palette.

Popular treats paired with this sauce in Mexico include ice cream (helados), shaved ice (raspados), and popsicle sticks (paletas).

I recommend drizzling chamoy on mango ice cream topped with fresh mangoes. This combination is addictive as it bursts with sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.

So if you want a new spin on your favorite ice cream or cold dessert, make chamoy sauce your secret ingredient next time.

Add Into Meals

Although chamoy sauce is primarily a condiment, it’s versatile enough to be added to different dishes. Adding the sauce to stews and traybakes will give your meals more depth. I haven’t tried using them in stews, but I imagine it’d add more kick and flavor to chili con carne.

Spread on Bread

Are you tired of mayonnaise or peanut butter in your sandwich? Upgrade your favorite sandwich by adding or replacing your spread with chamoy sauce. Similarly, why not try it on burgers?

Besides this, you can also try spreading it on toast instead of using jam. I usually pair chamoy with morning toast since that kick from the spicy chili wakes me up.

Glaze Your Barbecue

I enjoy glazing grilled pork, fish, or chicken with Mexican chamoy sauce since the grilled meat’s smokiness and the sauce’s spiciness blend well together, giving the meat more depth and flavor. Make sure you have enough chamoy as a sauce or dip, too.

Besides grilling, I recommend trying it as a coating for your fried chicken. For example, try using this homemade chamoy sauce recipe to make sticky chamoy chicken wings.

Overall, chamoy sauce will add a bit of Mexican cuisine to your barbecue or wings.

FAQs

Is Chamoy and Tajin Sauce the Same?

Chamoy and Tajin often go together, but they’re not the same. Chamoy tastes sour, salty, spicy, and sweet, and the recipe uses dried fruits, lime juice, and chilis.

Meanwhile, Tajin is a Mexican brand selling chili-lime salt and a mild hot sauce. These products taste spicy, unlike chamoy, which includes sour, salty, and sweet flavors. Also, Tajin seasoning is a crucial ingredient in making chamoy sauce.

What Are the Best Chiles to Use for Chamoy Sauce?

Aside from chile de arbol, one of the best dried peppers to use for chamoy is ancho chiles, which adds an earthy, rich, and complex taste to chamoy. Other dried chilis you can use include mulato, pasilla, and guajillo. Feel free to use your favorite dried pepper, too.

Is Chamoy Vegan and Gluten-Free?

Yes. Chamoy is suitable for vegans and those who prefer a gluten-free diet, as the recipe only uses dried fruit, Tajin seasoning, lime juice, dried pepper, and other seasonings.

If you’re buying store-bought chamoy, read the ingredients list beforehand to ensure it’s suitable for vegans.

Where Can I Buy Chamoy?

You can find this Mexican sauce at your local Mexican grocery store or Latino market. If there’s no Mexican store near you, try visiting international stores or ordering one online.

Although buying store-bought Mexican chamoy sauce is convenient, I highly recommend making your homemade sauce instead. It allows you to adjust the seasonings and ingredients according to your taste or dietary preference.

chamoy sauce in a jar
Yield: 24 servings

Chamoy Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you're looking for a delicious and unique way to spice up your dishes, then you have to try this chamoy sauce recipe. It's one of our favorites. This sauce is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors. Plus, it's so easy to make! Get ready for your taste buds to be tantalized.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup prunes seeded
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 tablespoon homemade chili powder or chile piquin powder or even tajin
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients (except the citrus juice) to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and rest until cooled off. About 10 minutes.
  3. Add everything to a blender, including the lime juice and blend well.
  4. Check for liquid consistency: Add a few more tablespoons of water for a more liquid consistency.
  5. Transfer to glass jars and store in the refrigerator. It will last about two months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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Make This Homemade Chamoy Sauce Your Go-to Condiment

What I love about chamoy is its versatility, and you can incorporate it into most recipes, from fruits and vegetables to drinks and desserts.

Plus, it’s easy to make with a few required ingredients, equipment, and steps. As long as you have the ingredients or substitutes available, you can create one anytime at home.

I hope you enjoy the flavors of Mexican cuisine with this homemade chamoy sauce. Let me know what dishes or desserts you’ve paired it with!

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