Dried Mulato Pepper is approximately 12cm in length and 7cm in width with a slightly flattened shape. Their thin shiny skin takes on a dark brown color when they are fully ripe and later dried. They have a complex flavor profile of cocoa, licorice root, star anise cherries, and coffee.
Mulato’s perfect balance between sweet and spice classify them as a low to moderately hot chile pepper, averaging 2,500-3,000 heat units on the Scoville Scale.
This chile is considered a must-have ingredient for authentic moles and makes any chile con carne far more intriguing. For those who have a fondness for homemade ice cream, ground some toasted and ground Mulato chile into a base for dark chocolate ice cream or blackberry sorbet.
Dried Mulato chile peppers are a variety of Capsicum annuum that are occasionally confused with another dried chile known as the Ancho. Both are made from fresh Poblanos; those meant for Ancho production are picked just as they turn red, while those intended for Mulato production are allowed to fully ripen on the plant, turning a dark brown color before they are harvested and dried. Dried Mulato chile peppers are more full-bodied and complex in flavor than their Ancho counterpart.
Dried Mulato chile peppers contain high amounts of both Vitamins C and A.
The Mulato Chile, with a mild to medium heat, is great when used in your favorite chili, soup, sauces, or salsa.
Dried Mulato chile peppers are an important ingredient in the preparation of mole, a rich, chocolaty brown, spicy sauce served with poultry or red meat. This authentic Mexican dish consists of a multitude of ingredients including the “holy trinity” of dried peppers; Mulato, Ancho, and Pasilla. Dried Mulato chile peppers are perfect for rehydrating and stuffing for a baked pepper dish. They retain their deep brown color and impart a rich yet mildly sweet spice.
Mulato chiles are dried Poblanos. The name Poblanos pays homage to the native region these chiles were first cultivated which is a city in Mexico called Pueblo. Poblano translates to “pepper from Pueblo”. Dried Mulato chiles are part of the “holy trinity” of Mexican chiles (along with the dried Ancho Chile and the dried Pasilla Chile). Mulato chiles are from the plant species Capsicum annum.
Mulato chilies are grown in central Mexico and these are a wide chile, about 2-3 inches wide and about 4 inches long. These dark brown chiles have a medium thick skin and are only sold dried.
Closely Related to the Ancho Chile
Mulato Chiles are very similar in appearance to the Ancho chile and they are closely related. Both are Poblano chiles and the difference between the two is when they’re harvested.
The color of these chiles while growing is dark green. Ancho chiles are picked when they ripen to red and they’re then dried. Mulato chiles are allowed to fully ripen turning a dark brown where they’re then harvested and dried. This additional ripening time adds to the Mulato’s flavor characteristics and they’re more full-bodied and complex in flavor than the Ancho. The added nuanced flavor gives them a special role in authentic Mexcian cuisine.
Heat Level and Flavor Profile
The flavor profile of Mulato chiles is a bit sweet with hints of smoky chocolate, licorice, cherries, and coffee.
With a Scoville heat rating (SHU) of 2500 – 3000, this is a delicious way to add low-moderate heat to your dish with robust flavor.
How to use
Along with the other two members of the “holy trinity” the Ancho and Pasilla Chiles, the Mulato chiles are a key ingredient in mole poblano, which is also known as Mexican mole, a dark brown chocolaty and spicy sauce that is usually served over chicken or meat. Dried mulato chiles are ideal for mole recipes due to their dark brown color after soaking.
You’ll also find Mulato Pepper used in other Mexican sauces and stews, including chicken with rice. Cooks in Mexico make stuffed Mulato pepper (similar to stuffed Poblanos) by rehydrating the chile pods, removing the seeds and then stuffing the pods with breadcrumbs, cheese, and shrimp. These are then pan fried in oil.
To rehydrate your dried chiles rinse them first with warm water, then fully submerge in warm or hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Once rehydrated, dice or puree and add to your recipe. You can also add them directly to any recipe that that has enough liquid and will cook at least 10 minutes.
If you are a fan of Mexican chiles you’ll find our growing collection of dried chiles to your likening. In addition to the Ancho and Pasilla chiles we also carry – Habanero Chiles, Guajillo Chiles, Cascabel, Chiles, Chipotle Morita Chiles and Chipotle Meco (brown chipotles) Chiles and Arbol Chiles.
Chicken with Mulato Chile Sauce
Jacques Pepin’s take on chicken and rice is made with sweet, pungent and richly flavored dried mulato chiles. He uses the chile soaking liquid to braise the seared chicken with chayote, chorizo, and ultra-fragrant Mexican oregano. Then he serves the dish over ruddy red rice that’s colored and flavored with achiote paste.
- 2 large dried mulato or ancho chiles
- 3 cups hot water
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 4 chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 large scallions, coarsely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1-ounce firm chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 large tomato, cut into 1-inch dice (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 2 small chayote—peeled, quartered lengthwise and pitted
- Achiote Rice, for serving
How to make this recipe
Put the mulato pepper in a medium bowl and cover with the hot water; cover them with an inverted small plate to keep them submerged. Let the chiles soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain the chiles, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Stem, seed and coarsely chop the chiles.
Heat a large nonstick skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add the pieces to the skillet, skin side down. Cover partially and cook over moderately high heat until well browned on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and reserve for cooking the rice (optional).
Add the scallions, garlic, onion, and chorizo to the remaining fat in the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped chiles, wine, tomato, oregano and the reserved 1/2 cup of chile soaking liquid and simmer for 1 minute. Arrange the chicken in the skillet, skin side up. Tuck the chayote in between the pieces of chicken. Cover and cook over low heat until the chayote is tender and the chicken is cooked through about 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken and chayote to plates. Boil the sauce over high heat until reduced, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce around the chicken and serve with Achiote Rice.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight.
The mulato pepper in this dish has a smoky-sweet aromatic quality that makes them terrific with Beaujolais, which is produced from the light, fragrant Gamay grape.