Best Chamoy Sauce Recipe

Make the best Mexican chamoy sauce at home. Learn how Asian cuisine flavors and the umeboshi plums inspired this Mexican cuisine staple.

The best chamoy sauce started with the introduction of umeboshi, a cross between an apricot and a plum.

different bowls with homemade chamoy sauce and Mexican spicy treats

The Mexican chamoy recipe is a sponsored collaboration with Dixie Crystals.

Chamoy has become a Mexican staple for the creation of drinks, sour candy, and treats. Mexican children grow up eating it with fresh fruit. Mainly fruit and veggie cups filled with green apples, mango, pineapple, watermelon, jicama, young coconut, orange, carrots, and cucumbers.

a Mexican fruit bowl with a spicy touch

And here in America, it has become a phenomenon in cocktail drinks inspired by the “mangonada or chamoyada”. An icy drink made with fresh mango ice cream sorbet, paired with either tequila or mezcal. Finished with chamoy red spicy sauce swirls, chili powder, and garnished with a tamarind stick called “banderilla.”

But what is the best chamoy sauce, and how the tradition started in Mexico?

In the 1950s, with the arrival of Asian immigrants to Mexico, a Japanese man Teikichi Iwadare created the trend by bringing the ume fruit and the umeboshi flavors to Mexico.

pickled apricots to substitute for umeboshi plums

Umeboshi is a fruit that is a cross between an apricot and a plum. The taste is like sour apricots. Same as in Mexican cuisine, Asian cooks enjoy pickling fruits. The sweet and tart flavors help create umami and the pinnacle of flavor perfection and balance.

And that is what umeboshi is, a pickled plum used in Japanese cuisine but first considered a medicine for the noble class only. This plum or ume fruit is first dried with salt and then pickled in vinegar and red shiso leaves. Typically, the umeboshi is served inside rice balls in bento boxes and other applications.

a hand holding a spoon with sauce

In China and the Philippines, the chamoy sauce is called kiamoy or champoy. And in Hawaii is known as li hing mui. Hawaiians use their version of chamoy sauce in shaved iced, with fruits and to make candy.

In Mexico, the company named “Dulces Miguelito” started selling the chamoy liquid sauce in 1971. Soon after the sauce evolved and a candy powdered chamoy debut in 1973. And the rest is history. Today Miguelito is still the top seller of chamoy-flavored candies in Mexico.

a variety of ingredients including hibiscus flowers and dried fruits

However, companies such as La Rosa, Sonrics, Hershey’s Mexico, and Dulces Vero are leaders in tamarind and chamoy candy treats. Some of the most famous are Pulparindo, Banderilla Tamaroca, Rockaletas, pelones (a spicy tamarin jelly), and spicy mango lollipops and gummies.

guajillo and pasilla dried peppers
Some of the ingredients for the sauce include dried fruits, peppers, sugar, and much more

So now that we know how all this started lest talk about homemade chamoy sauce.

Inspired by the salty, sour, and sweet flavors of the ume plums that is how the best chamoy sauce came about. But some say it came from China during the 19th-century Chinese migration.

Step by step on how to make chamoy sauce

Many are tempted by this bright red spicy sauce typically sold at the grocery stores and do not know what to expect. But once you try homemade chamoy sauce there is no way back. It is an explosion of flavor that goes well with many foods.

There are chefs that have created chamoy-barbecue glaze for pork ribs and the most common use in restaurants is to add a salty puckery rim to cocktails and beers.

pouring water into a dutch oven

Tips on how to make the best chamoy sauce at home!

Use dried hibiscus flowers as those provide tartness and the characteristic chamoy red color. But if you cannot find them use cranberry juice concentrate combined with dried cranberries.

Use a powerful blender for a velvety sauce consistency.

Dried fruits are also a must. Typical fruits for chamoy sauce are apricots or peaches. But a good replacement is dried mango slices, tamarind, and cranberries.

Since this sauce has hints of sweet using sweet dried fruits is a must. We recommend prunes but dates work well too.

a video image showing how to mix the sauce

Fresh fruit such as peaches is added for extra flavor. We like to use pickled sour apricots as those mimick the umeboshi or ume plums sour notes, use vinegar instead.

The spiciness comes from dried peppers. We like guajillo combine with pasilla. Pasilla peppers are sweet and smoky, while guajillo is mildly spicy.

a collage showing canning chamoy sauce

If you cannot find pasilla use one ancho chile. The peppers must be cooked until soft, and should also be seeded and stemmed.

For adding a spicier note we use chile de arbol but chile pequin, Japanese chile pods, smoked habanero, or chiltepin could work too.

a collage with images on how to can chamoy sauce inspired in umeboshi sour plum flavors

The use of sugar is necessary. We like to mix light brown sugar with white sugar. But you can use only white sugar if desired.

A powerful blender is necessary for achieving a perfect sauce and avoid straining. Do not use a food processor.

Due to high acidity, this chamoy sauce is suitable for canning. Follow the canning safety guidelines for best results.

an image showing the different uses of the best chamoy sauce influenced by umeboshi sour apricots flavor notes

You can make a big batch of chamoy sauce, keep some for you, and the rest gift it to family and friends.

The flavor of this sauce is sour, sweet, and spicy. It is difficult to explain how it tastes but once you get the chance to try it is a must-have in the pantry.

a collage with artisanal Mexican spicy treats inspired by umeboshi sour apricots flavor notes

Make the homemade chamoy sauce, it is easy!

  • In a large soup pot, add ingredients on the list. Pour water and cook covered stovetop for 40 minutes over medium heat. Add more water if needed.
  • Once the fruit and the flowers are soft the mix is ready. Allow the preparation to cool before blending.
  • Blend the mix until it becomes a somewhat thick sauce. Recommend the use of a high-performance blender.
  • If using a regular blender, strain sauce and pour it into a saucepan again. Add the lime juice and whisk until both come together.
  • Finally, taste the sauce and season chamoy sauce with spicy chile powder and add salt as necessary.
  • Jar chamoy sauce and keep refrigerated. This sauce will stay fresh for several weeks when properly stored.

Crafting Mexican chamoy candies and treats

I grew up eating spicy treats and sour candies. Until now the Mexican chamoy candies are popular and enjoyed by everyone in the family. In Mexico, the Halloween treat bags and the piñatas include these sour and spicy treats. With the chamoy sauce, you can create homemade candies and snacks.

serving bowls with Mexican spicy candy

One of the popular ways to enjoy chamoy sauce is by drizzling on top of fresh fruits and veggies. It is a common snack that comes inside a cup. The typical fruits and veggies used are watermelon, pineapple, oranges, young coconuts chunks, cucumbers, carrots, and jicama.

We could not find some of the typical fruits and veggies so we used a selection of tart fruits that pair well with the Mexican chamoy sauce and added some Tajin as a topper.

Classic Mexican Fruit Cup with umeboshi sour apricot flavor notes

Another way to enjoy chamoy is by drowning your favorite sour gummies and dusting them with powdered chamoy. This way of enjoying Mexican chamoy brings so many good memories.

We recommend using sour gummi bears, peach rings gummies, watermelon gummy slices, and sour rainbow ropes.

For preparing the chamoy gummies follow these steps:

  • In a mixing bowl, add the gummies and drench them with homemade chamoy sauce. Fill a plastic bag with powdered pequin chile.
  • Add the gummies soaked into the chamoy sauce into teh bag with the powdered pequin chile. Shake and coat.
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy. Keep the gummies inside a plastic container with a lid or in a mason jar.
step by step on how to make the spicy gummies
collage on how to make spicy gummies

Are you a pulparindo lover?

Using the homemade chamoy sauce you can prepare pulparindo inspired chamoy balls.

The recipe is simple, combine the homemade chamoy sauce with powdered sugar and create a chamoy dough.

a plate with freshly made chamoy treats

With clean hands form small balls of chamoy. Submerge them in the chamoy sauce and dust with chile pequin powder.

Serve in paper liners and keep fresh inside a tin lined with parchment paper. These snacks make wonderful gifts and could be an option for your Halloween party dessert table.

step by step on how to make chamoy treats

For preparing the chamoy treats follow these steps:

  • In a mixing bowl add the sifted powdered sugar and mix with chile powder.
  • Incorporate the chamoy sauce and form a stiff dough.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the sauce and pour it into a saucepan again. Add the lime juice and the vinegar, and whisk until both come together.
  • Remove plastic wrap and using a fruit baller form small chamoy treat balls.
  • Place the balls in a bowl with chamoy sauce and submerge in the sauce completely.
  • Dust the wet chamoy balls with powdered spicy ground chile and serve inside paper liners.
a hand holding a mexican homemade treat inspired in umeboshi using sour apricots
umeboshi plums inspired the Mexican chamoy sauce

Best Chamoy Sauce Recipe

Chef Adriana Martin
Make the best Mexican chamoy sauce at home. Learn how Asian cuisine flavors and the umeboshi plums inspired this Mexican cuisine staple. It has hibiscus flowers, dried fruits and peppers, Dixie Crystals white and light brown sugar, pickled apricots, fresh peaches, lime, vinegar, and pink salt. A sauce that is an explosion of flavor and used to make chamoy treats and spicy gummies.
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Sauces, preserves
Cuisine Mexican Cuisine
Servings 20 servings
Calories 67 kcal

Equipment

  • Soup pot
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoon
  • A whisk
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic wrap

Ingredients
  

For the Chamoy Sauce

  • 1 cup hibiscus flower
  • 3 guajillo peppers stemmed
  • 2 pasilla peppers steemed and seeded
  • 6 chile de arbol peppers stemmed
  • 3 dried prunes pitted
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried mango
  • 2 pickled apricots
  • 1 peach medium and cut in half
  • 1 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dixe Crystals slight brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons spicy salted chile powder such as Tajin
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lime juiced

For the Chamoy Treats

  • 1/2 cup chamoy sauce
  • 3-4 cups Dixie Crystals Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup chamoy sauce extra quantity for coating the candies
  • 1/2 cup cup chile powder, unsalted chile de arbol or pequin

For the chamoy gummies

  • 1 cup chamoy sauce
  • 1 cup sour gummies gummy bears, peach rings, watermelon slices, sour ropes
  • 1/2 cup powdered chile de arbol or pequin chile

Instructions
 

For preparing the chamoy sauce

  • Visit the Dixie Crystals website for the method.

For preparing the chamoy treats

  • In a mixing bowl add the sifted powdered sugar and mix with chile powder.
  • Incorporate the chamoy sauce and form a stiff dough.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the sauce and pour it into a saucepan again. Add the lime juice and the vinegar, and whisk until both come together.
  • Remove plastic wrap and using a fruit baller form small chamoy treat balls.
  • Place the balls in a bowl with chamoy sauce and submerge in the sauce completely.
  • Dust the wet chamoy balls with powdered spicy ground chile and serve inside paper liners.

For the chamoy gummies

  • In a mixing bowl, add the gummies and drench them with homemade chamoy sauce.
  • Fill a plastic bag with powdered pequin chile.
  • Add the gummies soaked into the chamoy sauce into teh bag with the powdered pequin chile. Shake and coat.
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy. Keep the gummies inside a plastic container with a lid or in a mason jar.

Video

Notes

VISIT DIXIECRYSTALS.COM FOR THE CHAMOY SAUCE RECIPE METHOD DETAILS. 
Tips and Replacements
  • Tamarind is a suitable replacement for dried apricots.
  • We recommend the use of Tajin chile powder as it has citric acid, which helps with the development of authentic chamoy flavors.
  • Unsweeten cranberry juice concentrate is a suitable replacement for hibiscus flowers in case those aren’t found at the supermarket.
  • The chile de arbol is optional. For a less spicy sauce, reduce the number or do not use it.
  • Use a powerful blender and a good strainer for a velvety sauce consistency.
    Due to high acidity, this chamoy sauce is suitable for canning.
  • Chamoy treats keep inside a tin with a lid and parchment paper. These treats will be fresh for up to four days.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 141mgPotassium: 120mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1415IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 2mg
Keyword apricots, chamoy, spicy sauce
Tried this recipe?Mention @adrianasbestrecipes or tag #abrecipes on Instagram

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18 Comments
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Marie

5 stars
This recipe and all the info you shared in the post are just so fascinating to me! I’d never heard of chamoy sauce and now I’m absolutely obsessed with the flavor combination. I love all the treats you can make with it, too! I will absolutely hunt down the ingredients I need to make this sauce, can’t wait!

Veronika Sykorova

5 stars
I’ve never heard of chamoy but I can’t wait to try it. The use of hibiscus s really interesting

Lilly

5 stars
This sauce is perfect!! I love it on my fruit and for crafting drinks.

Chenée

5 stars
This Chamoy sauce is so good! We had it with fruit and it was a huge hit! I’ll be making it all the time now.

Jacqueline Debono

5 stars
I’ve never had chamoy in any form but this sauce sounds so exotic and falvourful. Would love to try it!

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