Salsa de Molcajete

Fresh Salsa


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    2 cups

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

This is a salsa that my mom busted out so effortlessly. She made it in 5 minutes, and it was always the most delicious salsa you’ve ever had. It goes really well spooned on top of a fried egg for breakfast, or on top of anything really. It is a simple salsa that is meant to be added to a simple dish. It tastes of Oaxaca. You can give the same four basic ingredients needed to make this salsa to ten different cooks from different towns and the results will all taste a little bit different, even if you watch them while they are making it. It just blows my mind. If possible, substitute big, meaty heirloom tomatoes because they make a better salsa. In Oaxaca, we use a local heirloom variety there called tomates de riñon.


  • 10 Roma tomatoes (about 1.2 kg), sliced in half
  • ½ onion (50 g), quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 small jalapeño chiles, stems removed
  • Sea salt


Preheat your oven’s broiler to its highest setting.

Arrange the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a single layer in a roasting pan or a baking pan with a rim. Place underneath the broiler until the tomatoes are charred, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip all the vegetables over, and return to the broiler to char the other side as well, another 5 minutes. Be careful that the garlic cloves don’t burn; remove them earlier if necessary.

Once all the vegetables are charred, place them in a molcajete or mini-chopper or food processor and mash until you get a nice, chunky texture. Add salt to taste and serve.