Salsa de Aji Picante: Colombian Hot Pepper Salsa

Habenero salsa
Juanmonino / Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 1-2 cups salsa (4 portions)
Ratings (9)

This Colombian aji (chile pepper) salsa can be as hot (picante) or as mild as you choose. The main ingredients in this vibrant salsa are tomatoes, green onions, chile peppers, and cilantro.  It has a similar flavor to another classic Colombia salsa called hogao  (though the tomatoes, onions, and peppers in hogao are cooked rather than raw).

This salsa has vinegar as well, which gives it a nice tang.  It's delicious with grilled meats and is a great dipping sauce for fried plantains and the Colombian corn cakes called arepas.

What You'll Need

  • 1 habanero chile pepper (seeded and minced)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (minced)
  • 6 green onions (white and green parts, chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Black pepper (to taste)

How to Make It

  1. Place the chile pepper in a food processor or blender with the water, vinegar, lime juice, salt, and sugar, and process until smooth.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, green onions and cilantro to a bowl, and toss the pepper liquid with them, along with the olive oil, mixing well.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add more salt/sugar/black pepper as needed.
  4. Store salsa in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.