Morita Chili Peppers
Morita peppers are a type of chipotle pepper made from smoked, red-ripe jalapeno peppers. The main difference is that Moritas are smoked for less time, which leaves them softer and retains their slightly fruity flavor. They are very richly flavored. Learn more about them below.
Scoville Heat Units: 2,500 – 8,000 SHU (or up to 10,000)
Are you a fan of smoked and dried chili peppers for different sauces and flavor? It’s time you introduced the morita chili to your kitchen! These peppers are loaded with character, and you’ll find them a wonderful addition to your cooking arsenal.
What is a Morita Pepper?
Morita chilies are smoked, red-ripe jalapeno peppers. In fact, morita peppers are one of two types of chipotle peppers, often referred to as chipotle morita chile. The other type is the chipotle meco, which is more tan or gray in color. The main difference is that morita peppers are smoked for less time , which leaves them softer and retains their slightly fruity flavor. They are very richly flavored.
Essentially, jalapeno peppers start out green on the plant, but eventually ripen to a vibrant red color if they are left on the plant long enough. Once they ripen to dark red, the peppers are picked and dried in smoke houses to achieve their wonderful flavor.
Learn more about the chipotle chili pepper here.
How Hot is a Morita Pepper?
Moritas are as hot as your typical jalapeno peppers, which range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. They give a good level of heat, but nothing dramatic. It isn’t really a hot pepper, but for some people, the heat is just right.
What Does a Morita Pepper Taste Like?
The flavor of the morita chili pepper is a mixture of fruity and slight acidity, with just a touch of smoke. Overall they are fairly mild in their overall flavor and intensity, though pleasantly so.
Cooking with Morita Chili Peppers
Dried Morita chili peppers can be used as you would cook with the chipotle pepper. They are great for rehydrating and making sauces or flavoring simmering soups and stews. Rehydrate them by soaking them in very hot water until they are very soft, usually 15 to 30 minutes.
You can build flavor by lightly toasting these peppers in a hot pan or even in a toaster oven, which helps to loosen up some of the oils in the skin. Then, rehydrate them.
You can also grind up morita peppers to make a flavorful chili powder, which you can use as a general seasoning, a rub, or for making sauces, soups, stews and more. Just be sure to remove the stems and seeds before grinding.
They are great flavor building peppers very popular in making mole sauces and certain salsa dishes, particularly in the areas of Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico, they are hugely popular in the United States for southwestern and Tex Mex cuisine.
Chipotle Moritas Vs. Chipotle Mecos
Morita peppers and mecos are both chipotle peppers. However, morita chile peppers are smoked for less time than chipotle mecos, making them fruitier with a milder smoky flavor, which is characteristic of chipotle chiles. Chipotle mecos are smoked for twice as long. Moritas retain some of the reddish color from the red ripened jalapeno peppers, as well as much of the heat.
Morita chilies are most commonly used in making the popular commercial chipotles in adobo sauce that add wonderful flavor to many dishes.
Where Can I Buy Morita Peppers?
You can find morita peppers typically in Latin markets, though I am finding them more and more available in typical grocery stores. You can also order them online. I like to order them from Amazon.
Buy Chipotle Morita Peppers from Amazon.com (Affiliate link, my friends). Enjoy! Let me know what you love to make with them.
Learn More about Popular Mexican Peppers
- Ancho Peppers
- Chile de Arbol Peppers
- Chipotle Peppers
- Cascabel Peppers
- Guajillo Peppers
- Mulato Peppers
- Pasilla Peppers
- Puya Peppers
- A Guide to Mexican Peppers
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m glad to help.
NOTE: This post was updated on 3/3/20 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 9/22/13.