Perfect with seafood and poultry, Easy Mexican Citrus Salsa features a variety of fresh citrus, jalapeño, cilantro and scallions. It comes together in minutes and keeps well in the refrigerator for a day or two!
I add a lot of citrus to my food and I think that flavors it. And, to me, that what makes it healthier, lower in fat, lower in calories. It adds lots of flavor. Spices, of course. But citrus is definitely kind of my go-to to season and really to really make those flavors, make that food come alive.~~ Cat Cora, celebrity chef.
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
I live in McAllen, Texas, about 45 miles (as the crow flies) from the Gulf of Mexico. South Texas' Rio Grande Valley is known for its beautiful and plentiful citrus, and of course, the seafood is abundant!
When we moved to the area in 2015, it was the availability and variety of both that got me excited about cooking - after 22 years of living and cooking in the New Mexico "food dessert." I say that in jest, because NM has my heart!
In January 2016, I posted a recipe for Fried Oyster Tacos, and it remains a favorite with both readers and our family. Four plus years later, I decided I really need a separate post for the the citrus salsa, as my blog has become a resource for Latin-inspired foods including salsa.
The composition of the citrus salsa changes each time I make it, according to what is available. I do try to avoid southern hemisphere produce as transportation makes it not an earth-friendly option.
On photo day, blood oranges and cara cara oranges were still available (early spring), and I always include lime juice for the acidity. To round out the salsa, I include fresh herbs (mint and/or cilantro), jalapeños (you can adjust for heat preference), scallions, and a pinch of sea salt.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- citrus - As you can see from the photos, I chose cara cara and blood orange. Tangerines, grapefruit, clementines, even kumquats are all good.
- fresh chiles - Fresno, red or green jalapeño chiles, serranos, habanero (if you're into heat!) are all good. I love the little red Fresno chiles, but can't always get them.
- scallions - You can substitute shallot, sweet, or red onion.
- fresh cilantro
- lime - The citrus salsa should have plenty of fresh lime juice, but should not be swimming in it. If your lime is dry, use another one.
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Prepare the citrus - Zest the citrus, then remove pith (and membranes if desired). Dice. If you don't know how to do this, here's some help: How to Pith Citrus and How to Supreme and Orange.
- Make the salsa - Combine all ingredients in a (salsa-sized) bowl. Stir well to combine. If your lime is dry, you may want to squeeze a second one.
What kinds of citrus should I use? Winter is citrus season in south Texas. I've made this citrus salsa with combinations of pummelo, grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, blood oranges, cara cara oranges. On photo day, I had a blood orange and a cara cara orange. I would save lime for the juice portion of the recipe. The sweeter varieties work better in this recipe.
Jalapeños vary in heat level. I specify 2, but you can adjust to your preference. I love Fresno chiles in this salsa recipe, but I cannot always get them.
Does the salsa keep well? I enjoy this salsa for 1-2 days, but not beyond that. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
🍊 How to Use Citrus Salsa
- fish or seafood tacos
- achiote grilled shrimp
- grilled tajín chicken breasts
- Mexican grilled chicken hearts
- Instant Pot Yucatán-style pork tacos
This easy Mexican citrus salsa is truly a favorite at Andersen casa, and it pairs with so many different things. Even a simple grilled pork chop is elevated with this fresh salsa. I hope you'll give it a try!