Store-bought salsas suck! Yes, I said it. You know, the ones that come in a jar with an excessive shelf life and have a slightly acidic, one-dimensional, acrid flavour to them? I hate them. Especially when making your own takes all of 10 minutes – at most.
If you’re after a salsa that hits you with chilli heat but is balanced out my the sharpness of onion, the pungency of garlic and then zestiness of coriander then look no further.
I also have a delicious tomato-based salsa here, that pairs amazingly alongside this coriander salsa for a bit of contrast, especially on tacos and nachos).
What’s In Coriander and Jalapeno Salsa?
So, what exactly do you need to knock together this delicious coriander and jalapeno salsa… Not that much as it goes!
- 4 jalapenos: If fresh jalapenos are hard to come by then use green chillies. Jalapenos will give you a slightly fruitier flavour but ultimately they’re there for heat.
- A bunch of fresh Coriander: Adds a fresh, herbaceous note that balances nicely with the chilli heat and is synonymous with Mexican food.
- 2 cloves of garlic: It’s going in raw so 2 cloves will be ample to balance with the chilli and coriander. You want to be able to taste it.
- Juice of 1 lime: Acid is a must in any decent salsa. It both enhances the other ingredients but also contrasts nicely with the punchier flavours.
- 20 ml olive oil: This helps to bring the salsa together without impacting the flavour too much.
- 1 small onion: You can use any onion you have to hand – red, white, spring, salad.
- Salt, to taste
How to Make Coriander and Jalapeno Salsa
Step 1: Slice the chillies lengthwise and remove the seeds if you prefer less heat. The seeds and the white membrane are where most of the heat lies. If you are sensitive to chillies then wear gloves at this point as you’ll be handling a lot of chillies.
Step 2: For the coriander, include both the leaves and the tender stems, as they are packed with flavour. Finely chop the onion to ensure it blends well with the other ingredients without overpowering them.
Step 3: Use a garlic press, grater or finely chop it. The finer the garlic, the more it will infuse its flavour into the salsa. If you’re not a fan of strong garlic flavour, you can reduce it to 1 clove – but I love garlic!
Step 4: In a mixing bowl, gently toss together the chopped chillies, coriander, onion, and garlic along with the olive oil. This ensures even distribution of all the flavours.
Step 5: Lime juice is key for that zesty kick. Start with the juice of half a lime and add more to taste.
Step 6: Salt carefully. Start with a pinch, taste, and then add more as needed. Remember, it’s easier to add more salt later than to fix an overly salty salsa.
Step 7: Allow the salsa to sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This resting period lets the flavours meld together beautifully. Before serving, taste it and adjust the seasoning, lime juice, or heat according to your preference.
Substitutes and Tweaks
Although coriander is the best herb for giving you a Mexican flavour, parsley, mint or chervil will work.
Lime juice isn’t the only form of acid that would work. Apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar are other options.
Add different forms of heat to this salsa by including a pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper.
Make a smooth dressing that can be used on roasted vegetables by blitzing it in a blender for a few seconds.
How to Store Coriander and Jalapeno Salsa
With this being such a fresh salsa, it doesn’t keep particularly well and is best enjoyed fresh. If you do want to store it, then here are the best options.
To store your jalapeno and coriander salsa in the fridge, place it in an airtight container. This helps maintain its freshness and prevents it from absorbing odours from other foods.
Jalapeno and coriander salsa typically lasts for about 5-7 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. Always check for any signs of spoilage before using.
To freeze jalapeno and coriander salsa, put it in a freezer-safe airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Ensure there’s a bit of space at the top as the salsa will expand slightly when frozen.
To thaw frozen salsa, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature as it can lead to bacterial growth. Gently stir before serving to redistribute any separated liquids.