I'm going to throw just a little bit of shade on the typical salsa found in most Mexican restaurants and in every chip aisle across the country. It's fine, in a pinch, but sometimes you're just better off eating a plain chip. However, our Authentic Mexican Salsa digs deep into the earthy, spicy core of salsas.
Poblano, Serrano, Chipotle and Jalapeño grilled and charred - like a rebel biker gang circling your taste buds. Cumin, coriander, lime, and garlic round out the bunch and cut through the smoky core at heart of this salsa. This combination is the base for Salsa Negra, but I added tomatillos, which is the base for Salsa Verde. A labyrinth of flavor is borne of this hybrid, with twists and turns back and forth from smoky to tangy to tart and back to earthy.
Make enough to store and refrigerate. You'll find the flavors will evolve as they sit longer together. But serve with fresh cilantro or culantro (if you want to get authentically authentic).
The salsa will hold for up to two weeks if it lasts that long. Be sure to always give the salsa a quick stir before adding it to your serving bowl.
Falls in love with a blue corn tortilla chip
Stir memories of remote food stalls overlooking the Sea of Cortez
In the spice chest, you'll find an angry bunch of chile peppers
Suggestions and Alternatives
- Add more jalapeños to kick up the heat factor.
- Blend with half an avocado for a creamier version.
- If you want a lighter salsa, but still an authentic option try a Black Bean Salsa.
- Cool your plate down with our Frozen Strawberry Margarita.
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Authentic Mexican Salsa
- 1 chipotle pepper, chard
- 1 whole poblano pepper, chard
- 1 whole serrano chili, chard
- 1 whole Jalapeño, chard
- 1 whole yellow onion, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
- 3 whole limes, juiced
- 4 whole Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 3 tablespoon kosher salt
- On open flame atop your stove, on high heat lightly oil your poblano pepper, Jalapeño, and Serrano chile. about 4 minutes.
- Char them separately and be sure your peppers are chard all around, place them in a brown paper bag and set aside to cool. (about 15 minutes).
- Once cooled, remove skin and seeds from all except jalapeno and set aside. Do not wash peppers.
- In a medium size pot add 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- After 2 minutes on medium heat add your diced poblano peppers, diced onions, whole chipotle pepper, and Serrano chili.
- Stir constantly to lightly caramelize. About 4 minutes on medium heat.
- Add your garlic and stir for 1 minute then add your ground toasted cumin seeds and ground toasted coriander seeds and stir another minute.
- Transfer everything to your blender.
- Cut an X on the bottom of 4 Roma tomatoes and then blanch them In a small pot of salted boiling water
- Remove with slotted spoon and submerge them to an ice bath.
- After 5 minutes peel off skin from Roma tomatoes.
- Add your Roma tomatoes, kosher salt, chopped cilantro and lime juice to blend for 3 minutes.
- Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes before serving.
Katherine is an award-winning lifestyle and culture journalist. Her work has been published in Latina, InStyle, and Money Magazine. She's traveled to five continents and is saving the best for last once her three kids are ready for overland travel.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University.
This looks so yummy. I love me some salsa but couldn't find the right recipe. I might need to try it when I have Mexican night at my place.
This is the first time I will read about authentic Mexican salsa. Thanks for sharing the recipe and nutritional facts.
Amber Myers says
Mmm, I love salsa. This one looks so delicious. Yum!
This looks amazing! I'm definitely going to try this out
Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com says
This looks yummy! My husband would love this. I have to make it for him. Thanks for sharing!
Ana Ojha says
I love snacking blue corn tortilla chips with salsa! Your salsa looks incredibly delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!
Amber Pilcher says
I live in a Hispanic-heavy area, but have yet to try authentic Mexican salsa. I need to try this STAT.
Andrea @ The Petite Cook says
This recipe is a real keeper! I've been looking for a great mexican salsa for ages, and looks like I found it finally 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Tina Basu says
wow, it looks so yum, I haven't tried an authentic Mexican Salsa.
David Elliott says
This does look awesome. The key for me to getting the salsa down right was hot to cook the tomatoes and how to roast the peppers. Once I learned that my salsa improved markedly.
Yum! The level of heat and the colour seem amazing! I def have to give this a try. What pepper substitutes could I use as other than jalapeno, none of the other peppers are widely available here in Sydney, Australia. What about substituting with chipotle in adobo? Thank you 🙂
Eddie D'Costa says
Hi Tamara, thanks for this great question. Yes, Chipotle in Adobo sauce is a great substitute because it has some of the same flavor characteristics as some of the other peppers in the recipe. I would suggest adding one charred red and green bell pepper to whichever Adobo you purchase. It will give it volume and depth. Add a little of the Adobo at time, until you get the smokiness and heat you like.
Please let me know it turns out and thanks again for a great question.