How to Toast Dried Chiles in Seconds

For complex, intensified chile flavor fast, turn to the microwave.

Toasting dried chiles intensifies their flavors, adding complexity to dishes such as chili or sauces like mole. In addition to creating flavorful browning reactions, toasting evaporates more water from the chiles and further concentrates their taste; the process also breaks the chiles’ cells to release flavor. You can toast chiles in the oven or on the stovetop, but microwaving them is even simpler (and makes it easier to toast just a few chiles).

METHOD:  Place dried chiles on plate in single layer and microwave at full power in 10-second intervals until hot to the touch, slightly darkened, and pliable (chiles that aren't cut or broken may also puff). Times may vary, but expect one dried chile to take about 10 seconds and 1 ounce of chiles to take about 30 seconds.

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