Restaurant Style Red Fried Salsa

An step by step tutorial to make this delicious restaurant style salsa.
It is common to be offered a small bowl of salsa with some chips when you are seated at a Mexican restaurant. Here in the United States, some of the restaurants use canned tomatoes to make it, but using fresh tomatoes will always render the best salsa.  My mom would almost always have this salsa ready, as it can be used for many things, like the famous Huevos Rancheros, scrambled eggs with salsa, entomatadas, or to add to the many typical Mexican meals we call “antojitos”.

When we talk about salsas, the combinations are endless: they could be as simple as the raw serrano salsa, or a little more complex with more flavor like a Piquin Salsa. A few tomatoes (or tomatillos), onion, garlic, and peppers are the soul of a salsa, but not all of them are hot, spicy salsas. Sometimes, we use a salsa to add some heat to a meal, while other times it constitutes an actual part of the dish, like with the Dried Shrimp Patties in Guajillo sauce. Salsas are in our everyday life, and almost always you will find a homemade salsa at every Mexican dining table. Which brings me to this last note: we also call them “Salsas de Mesa”, or “table sauces”, since they are placed on the table when the meal is served.

What is your favorite Salsa?


  • 2 medium size tomatoes 
  • 2 serrano peppers*
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ of a medium size white onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • Salt to season

An step by step tutorial to make this delicious restaurant style salsa.

  • If Serrano peppers are not available, use 1 jalapeño pepper.
  • Some cooks add cilantro. If you want to add it, use about ¼ cup of chopped cilantro and add to the rest of the ingredients in the blender. 

An step by step tutorial to make this delicious restaurant style salsa.

1. Roughly chop tomatoes, serranos, garlic clove, and onion.
2. Place in your blender with ¼ cup of water, and process until smooth (or slightly coarse, if you prefer).
3. Heat the oil in a medium size frying pan at medium-high heat, and pour in the salsa and stir.
4. Once the salsa starts boiling, reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 13-15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until all the ingredients are well cooked. If it needs it, add more water; this will depend on how juicy the tomatoes are.
5. Once done, season with salt and serve. This sauce will keep well for about 3 days in your refrigerator.

An step by step tutorial to make this delicious restaurant style salsa.

 Serve with warm tortilla chips or use on tacos, fried eggs, tostadas, etc. 
Mely Martínez

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  1. Me encantan tus recetas! Muchisimas gracias!

  2. We live in phoenix where we take our salsa seriously and this is spot on, made it two hours ago & it's nearly gone.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for trying the recipe, I bet you are an excellent cook!

  3. love your salsa, i thought i was the only one that fries my chili. I think the frying the salsa enhances the flavor of the salsa as a whole. Thumbs up your salsa is awesome.....

    1. Hello Jaime,

      You are absolutely right! Frying the salsa enhances its flavors. My mom always fries her salsa, and many other home cooks do. it is just another way to make a good salsa! Happy cooking!

  4. I absolutley adore salsas! Love spicy salsas yet appreciate other salsas that have super fresh and flavorful ingredients, too. Still have yet to master a salsa at a large local Mexican restaurant, Hacienda Colorado. I s-w-e-a-r they put roasted tomatillos in their salsa but multiple servers have said no. Roasted tomatoes are the main ingredient. Think I'll just keep trying your recipes, one by one. Your's are amazing! Thanks for all you share on your blog Ü


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