It seems every country has a favorite sauce, well-defined by their culture. America has ketchup, China uses soy sauce, and India favors chutney. Latin American countries use chili-based sauces to complement their many popular dishes.
We add sauces to foods to enhance their flavor and customize the eating experience. Lizano is a Costa Rican style salsa that offers both a sweet and salty flavor enhancement.
Salsa Lizano is a must-have addition to Costa Rica‘s signature dishes. This leaves many travelers trying to replicate the sauce from their own kitchen.
So, here are all the secrets to making the best salsa Lizano recipe.
Salsa Lizano: The National Sauce of Costa Rica
Many people become hooked after one taste of the sauce.
The sauce originated in Costa Rica in the 1920s. Since then, it has become steeped in the country’s culture and cuisine.
The salsa Lizano recipe has not changed much over time. Here you can read on about the sauce’s origins in Costa Rica.
Lizano gets found in restaurants and bars throughout Costa Rica. You’ll find the bottled sauce presented tableside as it compliments most dishes. It can get used as a fresh salsa or a condiment.
It always gets recommended with Gallo pinto. This is the national dish of Costa Rica, which means spotted rooster. It’s a rice and beans dish with spices, onion, and pepper cooked in.
Lizano also compliments meats and fish, tamales, and eggs. It’s even a great sauce for those with a vegetarian diet as there are no meat-based ingredients.
The Best Salsa Lizano Recipe
You can buy a version of Lizano at some grocery stores and online retailers. This is a bottled version of the Lizano sauce brand that’s produced by Unilever.
Yet, nothing tastes as fresh, or smells as good, as making your own sauce. The best Lizano sauce recipes offer fresh and authentic ingredients. The homemade version also won’t contain any added preservatives.
It’s simple to make your own Lizano sauce, with the right ingredients. You’ll enjoy a fresh aroma from cooking with spices and chilies. The result is a satisfying sauce with a similar flavor and consistency to what you can find in Costa Rica.
Here is the best recipe for making your own authentic salsa Lizano.
Salsa Lizano Ingredients:
- 2 dried chilies, remove seeds
- 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
- 1 carrot, minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
Salsa Lizano Instructions:
- Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chilies and water or vegetable stock. Simmer until the chilies become soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the chilies from the heat. Transfer the chili mixture into a blender. Add in all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Salsa Lizano Recipe Notes:
This Costa Rican salsa is not too spicy but can add a bit of heat and flavor to any dish. It all depends on the type of chilies you use for the recipe. Ancho or guajillo chiles are the most common and provide the most realistic flavor.
This recipe will yield about 2 cups of sauce, which won’t last you long. You can store the sauce in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for a week or two.
You can choose between using water or vegetable stock as your liquid base. Vegetable stock adds in a bit more flavor than water. You can add in another half cup of either to the recipe if you want a less thick sauce.
The Lizano sauce you find in Cosa Rica is thinner. Adding less liquid to the sauce will make it more of a thick salsa consistency. This is great for dipping taco chips into.
Using granulated sugar in the recipe is best for dissolving. Other recipe versions call for cucumber, cauliflower, and celery spice. Add these ingredients into the blender to try a different recipe flavor.
Foods to Complement Your Homemade Sauce
There has been a 23% increase in chili-based sauce sales since 2013. This is due to our love of adding a spicy and tangy flavor profile to our favorite foods.
Costa Rican Lizano sauce works well with most foods. Yet, certain meals compliment the unique flavor profile of the sauce. This includes any dish with rice and beans, like making your own Gallo pinto.
Try Lizano sprinkled over nachos or oven-roasted potatoes. Add it to tacos, burritos, or quesadillas. Enhance the flavor of an omelet or frittata with a dash of Lizano.
You can even add it into guacamole or black bean dip for extra flavor. Lizano can enhance soups, like vegetarian chili or black bean soup. It can be a secret ingredient when making a bloody mary.
Lizano is a must to include at your summer barbeque. Use it for dipping meats into or as a delicious marinade.
It complements grilled steak, shrimp, and sausage. Pulled pork, chicken, and burgers can also take on a new flavor when combined with Lizano sauce.
Another idea is to make homemade empanadas, with Lizano served on the side. This authentic Argentinian dish features a crispy outer shell. The inside gets filled with beef, cheese, and onions.
Bringing Fresh and Authentic Recipes to Your Table
It’s always great to try out new recipes. Especially those that use fresh and flavorful ingredients.
This way, you’re bringing a bit of culture into your home-cooked cuisine. It switches up your meal plan so the family doesn’t get bored with the same old meals every week.
This salsa Lizano recipe is sure to wow your whole family and any guests you plan to entertain. Serve it at summer barbeques and store some in your fridge to enhance different meals.
Looking for more cooking inspiration to bring to your kitchen? Check out our recipe section for more unique ideas!