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Chef Gabriela Cámara’s Salsa Brava Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 1 min read

Not all salsas are of the tortilla chip-dipping variety like pico de gallo or the smoky tomato-based Mexican restaurant-style salsas that show up alongside tableside guacamole; some of them, like salsa brava, act as both palate cleanser and punctuation, providing a bright kick to every dish on the table.

Mexican salsa brava lives somewhere between a sauce and fresh condiment (just like Middle Eastern achaar), bringing you the best of both worlds. It’s an easy recipe that immediately makes you the kind of person who always has the best homemade salsa on hand.



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What Is Salsa Brava?

The name of this salsa recipe translates to “fierce,” and with good reason—the raw habaneros featured are super spicy. That said, salsa brava is a quick-pickled salsa with a bright, fresh flavor that pairs well with seafood and Mexican foods like tostadas, sopes, tacos and your choice of meat. Salsa brava brings more pungency to the table than something like salsa verde, which typically relies on jalapeño peppers and cilantro for its flavor.

Gabriela Cámara’s Salsa Brava Recipe

Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min


  • Makes about 1,100g
  • 800g white onion
  • 150g habanero chiles
  • 6g salt
  • 18g dry oregano
  • 80ml fresh lime juice
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  1. Remove the outer layer of the onion’s skin. Place it on a cutting board cut side down and slice it into thin half-moons. Place the onions in a mixing bowl, separating the pieces with your fingers to ensure that they all marinate evenly.
  2. Put on plastic gloves and slice the habanero chiles crosswise—stems, seeds, and all—resulting in thin slices that resemble flowers. Add the habaneros to the bowl with the onion. With the gloves still on, mix with your hands to combine.
  3. Remove the gloves. Add the salt, oregano, lime juice, and olive oil to the habanero-onion mixture. Use a spoon to combine.
  4. Allow the salsa to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. This salsa brava will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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