Costa Rican “Lizano” Hot Sauce


  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 (4 inch) piece of carrot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tsp molasses
This hot sauce it typical in Costa Rican cooking. It is spicy, tart and sweet. A base of guajillo chilies, lemon juice, garlic, and molasses for sweetness is used. It is especially delicious when used in bean and rice dishes.

  • Remove the stems from the chilies, then slice lengthwise and remove all the seeds and the pith.
  • Preheat a cast iron skillet, using medium heat and place the chilies in the pan and roast for 2 minutes per side.
  • Add the water the the pan and bring to a simmer, then simmer the chilies for 5 minutes.
  • Place the chilies in a blender  or food processor, along with 1 cup of the chilie water
  • Add the onion, carrot, garlic, salt, molasses, garlic and salt.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Use as a condiment or as an addition to to beans or other dishes.

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