Chirmol Salsa Recipe - Authentic Guatemalan Cuisine

Chirmol Salsa

Chirmol Salsa Recipe - Authentic Guatemalan Cuisine
Region / culture: Guatemala | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Chirmol Salsa
Chirmol Salsa

Chirmol salsa is a traditional Central American condiment that is bursting with fresh flavors and vibrant colors. This salsa is perfect for adding a zesty kick to grilled meats, seafood, or even as a topping for tacos or nachos.


Chirmol salsa has its origins in Guatemala, where it is a popular accompaniment to many traditional dishes. The word "chirmol" comes from the Mayan language and means "smashed tomatoes," which is a key component of this flavorful salsa.


How to prepare

  1. Grill the scallions and chop them.
  2. Grill the tomatoes whole until they are soft. Also, grill the corn. You can use any grilling method and you can do this step ahead of time, unless you want to serve the salsa hot.
  3. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, and garlic. "Smash" the tomatoes, which means breaking them up.
  4. Add olive oil, lime juice, grilled corn kernels, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, and pepper.
  5. Serve the salsa hot or cold over striped bass, swordfish, or any other white fish.


  • For a spicier salsa, add additional jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce. You can also customize the salsa by adding diced avocado, black beans, or mango for a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To enhance the flavor of the salsa, be sure to grill the tomatoes and corn before adding them to the mixture. This will give the salsa a smoky and charred flavor that is truly delicious.

Serving Suggestions

Serve chirmol salsa over grilled fish, chicken, or steak for a burst of fresh flavor. It also makes a delicious topping for tacos, burritos, or nachos.

Cooking Techniques

Grilling the tomatoes and corn adds a smoky flavor to the salsa, but you can also roast them in the oven for a similar effect. Be sure to chop the ingredients finely for a chunky salsa or blend them for a smoother texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have fresh corn, you can use canned or frozen corn kernels instead. You can also substitute red onion for scallions or add bell peppers for extra crunch.

Make Ahead Tips

Chirmol salsa can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will continue to develop, making it even more delicious.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salsa in a colorful bowl and garnish with additional cilantro or lime wedges for a beautiful presentation. You can also serve it in individual ramekins for a stylish touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Chirmol salsa pairs well with grilled meats, seafood, or roasted vegetables. It also complements dishes with bold flavors, such as spicy tacos or tangy ceviche.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave or heat in a saucepan until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of chirmol salsa contains approximately 100 calories, making it a light and flavorful addition to any meal.


Each serving of chirmol salsa contains approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates, making it a healthy and low-carb option for those watching their carb intake.


Chirmol salsa is a low-fat condiment, with only 5 grams of fat per serving. The majority of the fat comes from the olive oil used in the recipe.


This salsa is not a significant source of protein, with only 1 gram per serving. To increase the protein content, consider adding grilled chicken or shrimp to the dish.

Vitamins and minerals

Chirmol salsa is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C from the tomatoes and lime juice. It also contains potassium, fiber, and antioxidants from the fresh ingredients.


This recipe contains no common allergens, making it suitable for those with food sensitivities or allergies.


Chirmol salsa is a healthy and flavorful condiment that is low in calories and fat, while also providing essential vitamins and minerals.


Chirmol salsa is a delicious and versatile condiment that adds a burst of fresh flavor to any dish. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, this salsa is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Chirmol Salsa. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Guatemala. My abuela, my grandmother, was known far and wide for her delicious cooking, and she had a special talent for creating the most mouth-watering salsas and sauces.

One day, a traveling merchant passing through our village stopped by our humble home and brought with him a new recipe he had learned during his travels. It was for a unique salsa called Chirmol, a traditional dish from the highlands of Guatemala. As soon as my abuela laid eyes on the recipe, she knew she had to learn how to make it.

The merchant was kind enough to share the recipe with us, and my abuela set to work right away. She gathered all the ingredients we needed - ripe tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, chili peppers, and fresh cilantro. She roasted the vegetables over an open flame until they were charred and smoky, then chopped them finely and mixed them together with a splash of lime juice and a pinch of salt.

The aroma that filled our kitchen as the salsa cooked was absolutely intoxicating. I remember standing by the stove, watching as my abuela stirred the pot with a wooden spoon, her face glowing with pride and excitement. When the salsa was finally ready, she scooped it into a small clay bowl and handed me a tortilla chip to taste.

The flavors exploded in my mouth - tangy, spicy, and full of depth. I had never tasted anything like it before, and I knew right then and there that this recipe would become a staple in our family.

Over the years, my abuela perfected her Chirmol Salsa recipe, adding her own special touch to it. She would often experiment with different types of chili peppers, adjusting the heat level to suit our tastes. Sometimes she would even throw in a handful of roasted corn kernels or diced avocado for extra flavor and texture.

As I grew older, I began to help my abuela in the kitchen, learning the art of cooking from her experienced hands. She taught me the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients, and of tasting and adjusting seasonings as I cooked. I loved spending time with her, listening to her stories and absorbing her vast culinary knowledge.

One day, my abuela told me a story about how she had learned to make Chirmol Salsa from her own grandmother, who had passed down the recipe through generations of women in our family. She described how they would gather in the kitchen, sharing stories and laughter as they prepared the salsa together.

As I listened to her tale, I felt a deep sense of connection to my ancestors and to the rich culinary traditions of our culture. I realized that this recipe was more than just a delicious dish - it was a link to my past, a way of honoring the women who had come before me.

Today, whenever I make Chirmol Salsa in my own kitchen, I feel my abuela's presence beside me, guiding my hands and whispering words of encouragement. I take pride in carrying on the tradition of this beloved recipe, sharing it with my own family and friends and passing it down to future generations.

And as I watch my children and grandchildren gather around the table, their faces lighting up as they taste the salsa for the first time, I know that the legacy of this recipe will live on, bringing joy and connection to all who taste it.


| Corn Recipes | Fish Recipes | Guatemalan Recipes | Guatemalan Salads | Lime Juice Recipes | Lime Recipes | Swordfish Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients