Simply the best salsa recipe (and the most delicious, too)

September 8, 2022
1 min read

PAT PILCHER is a taco addict on a mission: to tell the world about the riot of fresh and zingy flavours that comprises great salsa.

I have a small confession to make. I am a Taco addict. While Mex food gets a bad rap in NZ because it is often badly made, bland and stodgy tex-mex, proper Baja-style Mexican food is truly something special. There really is nothing like the riot of flavours you get with properly made Mexican food.

One of the central ingredients in a good taco is salsa, which literally translates from Spanish into English as “sauce”.

There’s all manner of hot sauces you can spend a tonne of money on, but my favourite is this recipe which takes hardly any effort to make. All you need is a heavy pan (preferably cast Iron), a mortar and pestle (also known in Mexico as a molcajete) and the ingredients listed below.

This Salsa is the perfect addition to chicken tacos, or just for digging into with some freshly made tortilla corn chips.


2x medium/large ripe tomatoes

1x clove of garlic (skin on)

1x fresh green chilli

½ lime

A pinch of salt



  1. Place the heavy pan on a hot element (high heat is best), placing the tomatoes, chilli and garlic in the pan

  1. Keeping an eye on them turn them so they are all lightly charred


  1. Once the chilli is lightly charred, the tomatoes are charred and softened and the garlic skin has a char mark on all sides and the garlic is rubbery soft to prod, remove them from the pan
  2. Cutting the stem from the chilli and (optionally) removing the seeds from the chilli, place it in the mortar.
  3. Skinning the garlic, add it to the mortar and pestle and pound it and the chilli into a paste. You should have a light green paste from the garlic and chilli.

  1. Add one tomato to the mortar and pestle and gently break it up and then ground it into a lumpy paste, repeating with the second tomato – This can get messy so an apron is a good idea.

  1. When you have a lumpy red paste, add a pinch of salt, and squeeze the juice of half a fresh lime. Mix the salsa up and pour into a serving bowl.

Buen provecho! Enjoy with a cold lager, hazy IPA or Chardonnay!

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

1 Comment

  1. Love this recipe. Traditionally called Salsa Negra, with the tomatoes being charred to almost black in colour. Great with fresh coriander added at the end too.

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