Takis Fuego Spice Clone

Our child may be addicted to Takis. I cannot keep these fiery snacks in stock at our place.

While we were quarantining for Covid-19 last year, we went through a lot of popcorn. I got to playing around with spice blends to sprinkle over the popped corn, and decided to work on making a clone of the spice blend on Takis Fuego.

I watched a few videos on YouTube, people claiming to have precisely replicated the flavor, but none of those combos worked for me.

There is a sharp acidic tang in Takis Fuego. I first tried replicating this with Country Time Lemonade mix. It was close, but it did cause the spice to clump. I settled on citric acid.

There is a bright red color. I used annatto for this. Then, there is assertive and lingering heat. I used a combination of dried superhot chilies, dehydrated solids from my fermented hot sauce, and dehydrated and powdered kimchi.

The fermented hot pepper powder, and the kimchi powder add some nice savory noted to the blend. I deepened this with monosodium glutamate and dried miso. The miso was made from soy beans and koji rice from my experimentation with koji. I know a lot of folks freak out about MSG…don’t. MSG is naturally present in much larger concentrations in loads of foods we eat every day: tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, broccoli.

I dried some of my homemade kimchi and the miso on parchment sheets in my home food dehydrator. Then I powdered them in a small Krups coffee mill that I specifically reserve for spice grinding.

To round out the Takis spice I added garlic, onion, and sea salt. I suspect there is sugar in Takis, but I felt it was not needed. I think this one is pretty close to the spice used on those crunchy, addictive Takis tortilla tubes of fire.

Takis Fuego Clone Seasoning Blend

3g Superhot chile powder
10g Ground dehydrated solids from fermented hot sauce
16g Ground kimchi powder
45g Citric acid
4g Garlic powder
8g MSG
10g Roasted onion powder
2.5g Miso powder
60g Annatto powder
20g Sea salt

Mill all of this as fine as possible in a spice mill.

So far I have used this spice, as mentioned, on popcorn. I’ve used it for spicing up beef jerky, too. Next, I will probably make some Taki-spiced fried chicken!

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