Pico de Gallo

Fresh Mexican Tomato Salsa

This crisp condiment (also known as salsa Mexicana) has become so common on Mexican tables that it seems like no coincidence that its colors match those of the national flag.

The Spanish name for this salsa means “rooster’s beak,” and originally referred to a salad of jicama, peanuts, oranges, and onions. But today, if you ask for pico de gallo, you’ll get the cilantro-flecked combination of chopped tomato, onion, and fresh chiles.

Besides finding firm ripe tomatoes and removing their seeds, the key to this salsa is adding plenty of lime juice and salt, and not skimping on the chiles. Because without a burst of acidity and heat, you’re just eating chopped tomatoes.


Pico de Gallo, also known as salsa mexicana, in a bowl


Here’s what you need for Salsa Mexicana

  • Ripe tomatos
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime zest & juice
  • Fresh chili — try habanero if you’re really crazy
  • Salt & pepper

How to make it

  1. Chop tomatoes & remove the seeds. Finely chop onion, cilantro and chili.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Grind lime zest on top and then add lime juice on top. Season to taste with additional chile, lime juice, and salt.

This salsa keeps in the refrigerator for up to one day. Before you serve it, stir it well and drain any excess liquid that has accumulated in the bowl.