The Legendary La Vic Orange Sauce

There are three La Victoria taquerias in San Jose — I’m not completely in love with their tacos as my favorite taqueria is around the corner from my house.  But this . . . .this delectable orange sauce . . .  kicks boring to the curb!!!   I have been known to put it on grilled corn, rice, grilled chicken, shrimp, pork and beef, veggie tacos, and I’ve added it to my salad dressing.  There is always a little squeeze bottle of this in my fridge.  Get off the bus, Bobby Flay.

la vic

Makes about 3 cups


2 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. packed chiles de arbol, stemmed
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. water
1 T. kosher salt


  • Faux Chef’s Note:  Taste as you go as you add the chiles de arbol!  The chiles we buy differ wildly in terms of freshness and taste.   Add just enough to give you the hear you like.  I’ve added 1/2 cup and loved it — and another time the same measure made the salsa like eating molten lava.

Position a rack on the top level of the oven, about 4 inches from the broiler.  Turn on the broiler, then line  baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place the tomatoes cut side down and the onion slices on the prepared baking sheet and broil 10 to 12 minutes until veggies are soft and a bit charred.  Let cool to room temperature.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cool for about 3 minutes until browned, turning the cloves several times.  Now add the chiles, turning them a few times for 1 to 2 minutes until they just start to darken.  Take care they do not burn.

Transfer the chiles and the garlic to a blender, pour in the vinegar and water and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes until the chiles soften. Add the roasted vegetables and any juice in the pan and the salt and puree at high speed until smooth.

Turn down the blender speed to low and SLOWLY pour the rest of the vegetable oil in a small steady stream so that the sauce emulsifies.  The end result should be slightly thick.  Store in an airtight container  in the fridge for up to two weeks.


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