Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo, also known as salsa fresca “fresh sauce”, is a simple Mexican condiment made primarily of chopped tomatoes, onions, and chilies.  Cilantro, lime or lemon juice, cucumber, radish, or mango can be added.  Pico de gallo, which means “rooster’s beak” in Spanish, is a raw salsa in the sense that nothing is cooked, unlike most of the red salsas we see in Mexican and Southwestern cuisines which tend to use cooked tomatoes.  As a result, pico de gallo tends to contain less liquid and thus is oftentimes used as main ingredient for tacos or fajitas.

There are a variety of theories surrounding why it is called “rooster’s beak,” from the beak-like shape of the chilies used to make it to the bird-like feed appearance of the sauce.  Whatever the origins, the name and sauce is here to stay.  I am addicted to making dips such as Mango Salsa and Guacamole, and I am glad to add this to my repertoire.  I first made this as a condiment to my Baked Fish Tacos, which was inspired by my dinner at Barmarché.  I enjoyed their amazing Crispy Bass Taquitos in soft-shelled flour tortillas with guacamole, pico de gallo & apple cider slaw and decided to try my hand at replicating the dish at home.  Overall, I think was decently close!

Try the Chilean version of Pico de Gallo: Pebre & Chancho en Piedra (Chilean Salsa)

Pico de Gallo

Yields: about 3 cups


  • 1 1/2 lb plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 C onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeño chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and black ground pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy as a fresh and healthy salsa and add to your favorite dishes such as Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa or as pictured below with Baked Fish Tacos, Guacamole, and Apple Cider Slaw.

4 Responses to “Pico de Gallo”
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  1. […] Indian-style chicken BBQ with a side of plain yogurt, Kachumba (essentially Indian-style pico de gallo with cucumber), Spiced Okra, Spicy Grilled Shrimp, and Indian-Style Basmati […]

  2. […] into Chilean Salsa, or Chancho en Piedra (“Pig on a Rock”).  This salsa is very similar to Pico de Gallo and can be served as a dip, or combined with avocado to […]

  3. […] and decided to make my favorite Baked Fish Tacos.  Along with the standard classics Guacamole and Pico de Gallo, I decided to whip up a batch of pickled red onions.  I found this ridiculously easy recipe on Bon […]

  4. […] cooked in my cast iron grill pan.  I assembled the steak tacos with some homemade Guacamole and Pico de Gallo… very simple and very delicious […]

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