Xnipec

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    2 cups

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

No, it’s not a typo! I’ve included this salsa because it has a wonderful history as well as a mysterious name. Pronounced schnee-peek, it is one of the most ancient salsa recipes from the Mayans in the Yucatan area of Mexico, where I first encountered it many years ago. It is traditionally made with a sour orange related to Europe’s Seville orange, which has an exotic, wonderful perfume quite distinct from those of other oranges. Chances are you won’t find Sevilles in most American markets but they’re worth looking for. I’ve substituted a mixture of lime and orange that approximates the flavor. By the way, xnipec translates to “the dog’s nose.” Eat too much and your nose will run and be wet like a dog’s, according to old friends of mine. In Mexico, they don’t remove the chile before serving, as I’ve done here, but they are tougher than we are. If you are a real “chile head” then you can chop up the chile and leave it in.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup seeded and diced firm ripe tomato
  • ¾ cup finely diced white onion
  • cup fresh lime juice
  • cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 small habanero chile, cut in half, with seeds removed
  • ½ cup finely sliced red radishes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves, or a combination
  • Salt to taste

Method

Combine the Tomato, onion, citrus juices, and chile halves in a bowl and stir gently. Set aside for an hour while the heat of the chile develops. Taste carefully, and remove the chiles when the “temperature” is hot enough. Stir in the radishes and cilantro, taste, and season with salt as needed. This is best served the day it is made.