Pico de gallo is a delicious and simple condiment that you’ve no doubt enjoyed in a Mexican restaurant. It’s that wonderful blend of tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice that comes as a side, or might be spooned over your refried beans or tacos. It’s really versatile, tastes great, is really low in carbs and calories, and is super easy to make. Here’s a simple pico de gallo recipe for you to try.
Rooster’s Beak or Flag Sauce
The name pico de gallo means beak (el pico) of the rooster (el gallo). One theory is that people sometimes eat it by pinching it between their thumb and forefinger, kind of like a rooster’s beak. ¿Quién sabe? Who knows? Another name is salsa bandera (flag sauce) in Mexico, because the red of los tomates (the tomatoes), the green of the cilantro and los chiles (the peppers), and the white of la cebolla (the onion) might remind you of la bandera mexicana (the Mexican flag.)
You’re only going to need a few things: tomates maduros (ripe tomatoes), una cebolla roja (a red onion), un chile jalapeño (a jalapeño pepper), cilantro, ajo (garlic), jugo de lima (lime juice), and some sal (salt.) You can play around with the amounts, depending on how spicy you like it, or how much you love cilantro. We’re in the there’s-no-such-thing-as-too-much-cilantro camp, but you may not be. So add just a little bit, or a whole manoja (bunch).
- Six to eight ripe tomatoes. Use Roma tomatoes because you’ll get a good ratio of juice to solid, but other varieties will be fine, too.
- 1 red onion
- Cilantro – a few tablespoons or a bunch, to your taste
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, or half if you don’t want it too spicy
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt to taste
Dice the tomato, onion, cilantro, pepper, and garlic. You want the pieces of tomato, onion, and pepper to be about the same size. Stir in the lime juice and salt, and mix it all together in a big bowl. Let it sit for a few hours before you use it. The lime juice will help it last longer in the fridge, so you can enjoy it for a few days. The longer it sits, the more the taste will develop.
Use With Imagination!
You can add pico de gallo to a lot of things. Put some in tacos or over refried or black beans, add it as a condiment to tofu or chicken or fish, spoon it over eggs or guacamole… Or you can just use it like salsa, enjoying it with some tortilla chips.
Make it una lección de español
Now that you’re familiar with the recipe and ingredients, check out this pico de gallo recipe in Spanish to practice. Or, if you’re looking for convenient and affordable live Spanish lessons with a real teacher, check out The Language Garage. Our lessons are given online in a virtual classroom, so it doesn’t matter where you live or work – we can come to you. And we have both private and small group lessons, with a free trial so that you can decide if there’s a fit. Give us a try!
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