Recipe: A Delightful Fermented Tomatillo Salsa

If you get your hands on some fresh tomatillos, whip up a batch of this fermented tomatillo salsa, which adds some zing to the classic condiment.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Stephanie Thurow

If you still have fresh tomatillos available to you, give this fresh tomatillo fermented salsa recipe a try. Most tomatillo recipes I’ve had are roasted or canned. This fermented twist will delight your tastebuds. Enjoy it as you would any other salsa.

Yield: 1 pint jar (2 cups)


  • 1.5 cups fresh tomatillo, diced (about 4 small tomatillos)
  • 2 tbsp. finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • 2 tsp. fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced (or bell pepper if you want to omit the spice)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • Dash of black pepper (optional)


In a medium-sized, non-reactive bowl (such as a stainless steel or glass), prep ingredients and mix them together. Stir well to distribute the salt.

Once mixed well, transfer the ingredients to a clean wide-mouth, pint-sized canning jar. Use a jar weight (or other food-safe weight option) to push down the ingredients under the brine. Make sure that there is no food on the sides of the jar that is above the brine.

Wipe the rim of the jar clean, place the canning lid (or airlock lid if using one), and tightly screw on the metal ring.


Ferment at room temperature for two to three days out of direct sunlight. Though the tomatillo salsa is delicious immediately after mixing together, the fermented flavors will change after a couple of days.

Subscribe now

Taste test after 48 hours to determine if the salsa has fermented to your liking. If the salsa still tastes too much like the food in the raw form, allow it to ferment for another day. Repeat until it’s reached your ideal flavor. Once fermented, transfer to the refrigerator.

Because fermentation does not stop completely once cooled, the taste and texture will continue to change. Therefore, this ferment is best enjoyed within two weeks.


If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using a small (and easily removable) food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine.

You may substitute fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer. The measurement will remain the same for this recipe.

This recipe has been adapted from Thurow’s book WECK Home Preserving (2018) with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *