This simple Pico de Gallo is refreshing and quick, consisting of no more than five ingredients. Yet, it’s packed with flavour and is a surefire way to liven up your next taco or burrito night.
What is Pico de Gallo?
Pico de Gallo is a fresh salsa originating in Mexican cuisine. Salsa strikes up feelings of chopped vegetables in the English-speaking world, but it actually means sauce in Spanish. However, compared to the traditional Mexican salsas, which are usually in liquid form, Pico de Gallo resembles more of a chopped salad, similar to an Indian kachumber salad.
Pico de Gallo’s drier attributes make it the perfect salsa for Mexican street food recipes like tacos, where drier ingredients make them easier to hold and eat without spilling their filling everywhere.
Other Names for Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo can sometimes be known by various other names, which refer to the sauce’s typical properties. For example, it’s sometimes called “Salsa Mexicana, “meaning “Mexican sauce.” Below is a list of other alternative names.
Salsa Fresca or Fresh sauce – Because all the ingredients used to make the sauce are fresh and remain so during the preparation, there’s no cooking involved.
Salsa Cruda or Raw Sauce – For the same naming reasons as Salsa Fresca. It’s a salsa made with raw ingredients.
Salsa Bandera or Flag Sauce – Because it’s said the combination of tomatoes, white onion, and chopped coriander represents the colours of the Mexican flag.
The name it’s most known as means “Roosters Beak” in Spanish. Yet, while many theories exist, no one knows why this fresh and raw chopped salsa is known as a rooster’s beak.
As stated earlier, five ingredients are needed to make this chopped salsa. They are; Tomato, White Onion, Fresh Serrano Chillies, Coriander, and Lime. Salt and Pepper are also included in the recipe. Still, they’re simply for seasoning the salsa and are listed to taste.
Tomato – Use the freshest tomatoes with firm but juicy flesh.
White Onion – Avoid older onions which can taste quite harsh.
Serrano Chillies – Serrano chillies are traditionally used to make pico de gallo. However, habanero or jalapenos can also be used as long as they’re fresh. Jalapenos are more available in the UK, but I have sometimes struggled depending on the supermarket I’m shopping in. Instead, I substitute regular green chillies.
Coriander – adds a delicate citrus note to the dressing and salad-like freshness to the salsa.
Lime Juice – while Lemon can be substituted, lime juice has a slightly more acidic flavour, perfect for breaking down the raw ingredients.
Pico de Gallo
- 3 Large Tomatoes De seeded, Chopped.
- ½ White Onion Diced
- 2 Fresh Jalapenos Deseeded and Chopped
- 5 g Coriander Chopped
- Juice of 2 Limes
- Salt to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the freshly chopped vegetables and season with the lime juice and some salt to taste.