Pan-Roasted Güero Chiles with Blackened Onions

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Amor y Tacos

Amor y Tacos

By Deborah Schneider

Published 2010

  • About

Fresh chiles are so basic to Mexican cooking that it’s easy to overlook them as a treat in their own right. All chiles do not taste alike; pale yellow güero chiles (the name means “blond” and is often applied to Americans or light-haired Mexicans) have a pleasantly assertive flavor. The simple technique of pan-roasting them brings out their fruitiness and makes for a delicious nibble or side dish. A squeeze of lemon juice adds sweetness, while soy sauce subtly adds color and saltiness (soy is a frequent, if underplayed, ingredient in many modern Mexican recipes). The recipe may also be prepared with spicier jalapeños, though güeros, too, can be spicy without warning. Small pointed sweet peppers or Japanese shishito peppers are reliably milder substitutes.


  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 güero chiles, washed, left whole with stems on
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ lemon or lime


  1. Peel the onion and trim a good inch from both top and bottom. Cut it in half from top to bottom and slice each half into ¼-inch-wide strips, cutting from end to end. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it is soft and deeply caramelized—almost burned. Remove the onions from the pan and add the chiles. Cook the chiles over medium-high heat without turning too often, until they blacken in places.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soy sauce over the chiles and shake. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the soy sauce is dry. Then add the water and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, glazing the chiles. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the onions. Squeeze the lemon over all, and serve the chiles at room temperature.