I’d like to use this blog to shout out some of the products I love using in the kitchen, from delicious ingredients to useful kit. This time, I’m raving about my favourite hot sauce.
Hot sauce fans, if you don’t already know about Valentina then I’m here to enhance your life.
Apparently one of Mexico’s most popular hot sauces (reason number 5,000 why I’m dying to go there), Valentina Salsa Picante is my favourite for a number of reasons…
First of all, unlike so many chilli sauces, Valentina isn’t just hot. While it does have a nice level of heat (thanks to the serrano and puya chillies it’s made from), there’s so much more going on: It’s a little salty, a little spicy and has a really delicious, lime-like tang. Plus, the level of heat is medium rather than blow-your-head-off, so it doesn’t overpower dishes, and the texture is on-point – smooth and thick, but very drizzle-able.
I never used to be someone who put hot sauce on everything, but since being introduced to Valentina, I’ve discovered there are a lot of things that benefit from a little drizzle. These are some of my favourites:
Anything Mexican, obviously
Tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, huevos rancheros…I sometimes even just pour a little bit onto a nacho and eat it (pre-dinner snack, ya know how it is).
Whether fried or soft-boiled, adding a little pinch of salt to the yolk and a drizzle of Valentina over your egg on toast, seriously ups the game.
Asian-style rice bowls (e.g bibimbap/egg fried rice/stir-fries)
A bit of chilli sauce adds a good boost of flavour and nice touch of moisture to stir-fry/noodle dishes, egg fried rice, Korean-style bibimbap bowls and sushi bowls.
In need of a quick, easy dip for some kind of deep-fried, crunchy snack, such as fritters, pakoras or halloumi fries? Grab a small bowl or ramekin, fill it with natural yogurt, then swirl through with hot sauce. Looks profesh, tastes great.
In sandwiches or wraps
A lot of sandwiches and wraps can be improved by a drizzle of spicy, limey chilli sauce. I shan’t list them all.