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Mexican Street Food: Fruit cups with Tajín or Chamoy Sauce

Mexican Street Food: Fruit cups with Tajín or Chamoy Sauce
Home » Holidays or Celebrations » Cinco de Mayo » Mexican Street Food: Fruit cups with Tajín or Chamoy Sauce

Chile lime salt (aka Tajín) sprinkled over fruits and vegetables is a popular Mexican snack, often served in small cups in Latin America as Mexican street food. Tajín is the “brand name” of the ubiquitous chile lime salt, but a homemade DIY version is much fresher, allowing the simple ingredients (only 3 ingredients!) to stand out. Chamoy is a sweet and tangy sauce which often uses Tajín as an ingredient. Try these fruit cups with either or with both for your own Mexican street food!

Jars with pineapple, mango and jicama sprinkled with chile lime salt for Mexican street food.
Mexican fruit cups sprinkled with chile lime salt

Jump to: RECIPE | What is Tajín? | Ingredients and Substitutions | Chamoy and Street Food Condiments

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How is Chile Lime Salt different from “Tajín”

Tajín (pronounced ta-heen) is a brand name for a popular salt that you will find in most grocery stores and on most Mexican tables. While the Tajin company does have some variations of the blend, the Tajín Clásico is the most popular and the easiest to find.

It is a blend of red chiles, sea salt and dehydrated lime juice/peels. It also includes some anti-caking agent so that it stays fresh on the grocery store shelves.

Because the seasoning is so simple, consisting of only 3 ingredients, it is easy to make your own. There are a lot of “recipes” that you can find by searching for chile lime salt or chile lime seasoning. While the ingredients do not vary that much the ratios most certainly do.

The recipe below is my favorite blend, after doing a LOT of trials with different spices, different salts and different ratios. The recipe and the video below also shows how to best use chile lime salt with fruits and vegetables, ala Mexican Street Food!

Jar of chile lime salt with a side of sliced cucumbers topped with the chile lime salt.
Chile lime salt sprinkled on slices of cucumbers

Ingredients and Substitutions

I tried a number of different recipes available online, some of them quite salty! I wanted the lime flavor to be predominant so I ended up with the ratio of:

  • 1 tablespoon pink himalayan salt,
  • 2 teaspoons True Lime, and
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons spicy chipotle powder.
Jar of chile lime salt (Tajin) with lime, chile pepper and salt spread out in front of jar.
Ingredients of a chile lime salt (tajin)

Variations in the 3 Key Ingredients

  • The lime ingredient: I tried the lime ingredient in three different ways: fresh lime zest that I then dehydrated, storebought lime zest from a reputable company in San Francisco, and with True Lime (powdered lime juice). The “True Lime” definitely gave the salt the strongest flavor of lime;
  • The chile powder: Tajin uses a blend of red chiles, but most of them are fairly mild. I prefer more heat so I used some hot chipotle powder and it was quite spicy. There are plenty of chile powders that you can try, however so customize to your heat preference.
  • The salt: I tried kosher salt and pink himalayan salt. They were both good with the kosher salt making it coarser if you use it for rimming cocktails, and the pink salt making a prettier blend.

**Tip: The spicier the food the more salt it needs to remain balanced. Chile lime salt is great for this and can temper the heat with it’s salt.

Mexican Street Food: Chamoy, Fruit Cups and Condiments

There are so many wonderful uses for chile lime salt, but probably the most well-known is for the fruit cups you will see in cities in Latin America, often referred to as Mexican street food.

Fruit wedges in a plastic cup sprinkled with chile lime salt.
Mexican fruit cups sprinkled with chile lime salt

Here are some tips when making your own fruit cups with Tajín:

  • The most popular fruit used in the fruit cups is watermelon or mangos.
  • Typical vegetable cups include cucumbers or jicama.
  • Mexican street food often includes a sweet and tangy fruit sauce called chamoy to go with the snacks.

What is Mexican Chamoy?

Where you find Tajín you also usually find chamoy, as chili-lime salt is usually an ingredient in chamoy. Like Tajín, you will find chamoy drizzled over fresh fruit, but it is also popular in smoothies (often with mangos), known as a chamoyada.

Chamoy is made from a combination of dehydrated fruit (such apricot, mango or plums), chili powder, salt, and a little citrus juice (often lime juice).

Want to make your own? This recipe for homemade chamoy sauce will walk you through the steps….it’s not that difficult and is totally worth it.

Chamoy fruit sauce as a condiment  over Mexican street food in a plastic cup.
Mexican street food with chamoy sauce

More Popular Uses for Tajín (or Chile Lime Salt)

Tajín is not limited to fruit cups or Mexican street food of course. There are many ways that we use chile lime salt in home cooking,. Here are a few favorites:

If you enjoy all types of Mexican food, check out this category of ALL Mexican recipes, where you will find over 40 Mexican recipes, from casual, to low carb, to fancy.

“Tajín” for Mexican street food

Jars with pineapple, mango and jicama sprinkled with chile lime salt for Mexican street food.
A homemade ”Tajín" spice will be much fresher than the storebought one and you can adjust the amount of salt, which is pretty high in storebought. Cut planks of fruits and vegetables and sprinkle with this homemade tajin for some awesome Mexican Street food.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 44

Equipment

Ingredients

For the chile lime salt blend

  • 1 tablespoon salt kosher salt or pink himalayan salt
  • 2 teaspoons True lime
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons chipotle spice or other spicy chile powder

Fruit cups

  • 1 small jicama
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado, pineapple, papaya, etc. your favorite fruit or vegetable

Instructions
 

  • For the seasoning blend: With a whisk or slotted spoon, thoroughly blend together the salt, True lime and the chile powder.
    1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons True lime, 1 1/2 Teaspoons chipotle spice
  • For the fruit: wash and peel the fruit you choose to use. Cut into planks or spears (see youtube video above for cutting illustration).
    1 small jicama, 1 medium cucumber, 1 mango, 1 avocado, pineapple, papaya, etc.
  • Place fruit spears in a large bowl and sprinkle with the chile lime salt. Cut wedges of lime and serve fruit/vegetable spears on a plate with lime wedges for people to squeeze over the fruit/vegetables.

Video

Mexican Street Food — DIY chile lime salt on fruit cups
Watch this video on YouTube.
Watch the Step by Step Video for More Details

Notes

**Two other popular offerings of Mexican street food that uses chile lime salt is grilled corn (or Elote) or fruit popcicles (Paletas).
 
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If you enjoy all types of Mexican food, check out this category of ALL Mexican recipes, where you will find over 40 Mexican recipes, from casual, to low carb, to fancy.

Nutrition

Calories: 44kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.05gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1166mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.4mg
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  1. Beth says:

    Oh, dang, this made my mouth water! I’ll be ordering some True Lime.

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