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Making Salsa for the First Time

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OK State chapter.

Since we are all feeling the weight of being inside our houses so much, I thought I would try making something fun that I absolutely love eating. My dad is from Mexico, and as such we are always eating spicy food at my house. However, my abuela is about the only person whoever made salsa from scratch, and I never learned how until very recently. Since I had never made salsa by myself, I figured now was the time to try my hand at it. 

At first I wasn’t sure how hot I wanted it, so I started with this:

3 tomatoes

5 jalapenos

1/4 clove of garlic

1/4 red onion

I cut everything into small-ish pieces, about the size of 1/8 of a full tomates was the biggest a piece of anything was when I put it in the blender. I then added around a 1/4 cup of water to assist in the blending and pulse blended it on high until it was the consistency of a slightly chunky soup. Then, with the direction from my dad, I boiled the salsa after adding another 1/4 or so cup of water in order to bring the flavors together. 

After boiling it and stirring it occasionally for around 30 minutes, I went ahead and took it off the burner and my roommates and I tested what I had made. To be honest, it was bland and not nearly as good as my abuela’s. I was disappointed, but after adding a few dashes of garlic powder, onion poweder, and about 1/8 cup of chopped cilantro we finally had a salsa that had a little flavor and we could enjoy eating. However, one thing was that I had boiled it for WAY too long and it was entirely too thick. Looking back, 30 minutes was definitely too long. 

About a week later, I decided to try again. This time, I came prepared to give this thing some flavor and put some heat behind it. Therefore, these were the ingredients I used

3 tomatoes

6 jalapenos

3 cerrano peppers

1/2 onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup of cilantro


After blending these ingredients in the same pulsating on high as I had before with a 1/2 cup of water, I set the mixture to boiling. I went ahead and added another 1/2 cup of water to try and combat the extremely thick consistency of last time. I also cut the boiling time to around 20 minutes instead of 30, and I tried to pay attention to how thick it was getting when deciding when to take it off. When it was decently thick but not as thick as last time, I took it off. I added a dash of onion powder, a dash of garlic powder, and thinly chopped cilantro to taste and then stirred it to let it cool. This time, it was finally good! It had a lot more heat than before, which I wanted, and we all thought it was a good and a big improvement from before!

My second attempt was MUCH better than the first one, and I had so much fun trying to make a new thing with my roomates. In the future, I would say less tomato and a couple less peppers so that I wouldn’t have so much to store, but it is a good amount of salsa if you are wanting to throw a party (after all this is over, of course). I hope this encourages you to try new things you’ve always wanted to try, because that’s exactly what it did for me!

Sterling Zavala is President of the Her Campus chapter at Oklahoma State University. She is an avid reader, YouTube watcher, and talker, as well as a senior receiving a bachelor's degree in both Political Science and Spanish.
Former President of Her Campus at Oklahoma State University.  Laney is a senior Graphic Design major.  Laney is passionate about philanthropy, activism, education, and art.  When she isn't writing articles for Her Campus she is painting, playing video games, or volunteering.