Pink Sauce (Salsa Rosa)

Salsa rosa
Carole Tuff/Getty Images
  • 7 mins
  • Prep: 7 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Pink sauce, known in Spanish as salsa rosa, is very good served with cold langoustines or any shellfish as a first course. This sauce is creamy and just slightly sweet, but with a bit of a bite from the Tabasco sauce.

It features a complex flavor profile from the mayonnaise and ketchup along with the flair of brandy, Tabasco sauce, and lemon juice. 

Salsa in Spanish means sauce, so this is more like a condiment or Spanish "secret sauce" with a creamy consistency compared to the salsas that many of us are used to. Salsas elsewhere are often chopped tomatoes and other herbs, vegetables, and spices. That's the traditional view of what a salsa is, but in Spain, it is more of a smoothly combined sauce instead of chopped chip-topper.

Other Salsas

Learn more about these other popular salsas, which are quite different from the Salsa Rosa recipe below but nonetheless delicious:

  • Pico de gallo: In the U.S., this is often made from chopped tomato, chilies and onions with flecks of cilantro in it. It is also known as salsa Mexicana, and the name is translated into "rooster's beak." U.S. versions include lime and salt as well and are commonly served with tortilla chips.
  • Salsa brava: This is also known as a wild sauce, and is only mildly spicy due to the paprika, vinegar, garlic, onion, and tomato.
  • Salsa verde: In Mexico, it is made with tomatillos, which are typically cooked completely and then blended into the salsa. It is also known as a green sauce. 
  • Salsa crude: This is also known as a raw sauce, as it is a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeño chilies, cilantro or coriander leaf.
  • Salsa Negra: This black sauce is a Mexican sauce that is made with oil, garlic, and dried chilies.  
  • Salsa ranchera: This is a ranch-style sauce that incorporates tomatoes, various chilies, and other spices into a chunky ranch salsa.

Though some salsas are made fresh, there are other types of prepared salsas. In America, Picante sauce is thinner than that is typically salsa. In Spanish, Picante means "piquant," which is derived from the word car, which means to sing -- as in, it can sting your tongue.

It can be sold in a jar or can or shelved in the refrigerated section. Typically, fresh salsa is usually more expensive and does not last as long as jarred or canned salsa because it may not include vinegar. 

What You'll Need

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup catsup
  • 1 tbsp. brandy
  • 3 to 4 drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix with a fork or wire whisk until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add additional Tabasco sauce and salt to taste.
  3. Serve in a bowl.