Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

Learn how to make your own fermented salsa using tomatillos, cilantro and garlic.

From "Ferment Your Vegetables"
July 2016

Yield: 1 pint

Ferment Your Vegetables (Quarto Publishing Group USA, 2015) by Amanda Feifer introduces vegetable enthusiasts to the art of fermentation. Filled with beautiful color photographs and delicious recipes, this introductory guide teaches readers how to preserve raw vegetables year-round. Troubleshooting tips, equipment information, and step-by-step instructions make fermenting vegetables easy and enjoyable.

I live near the Italian Market in Philadelphia, dangerously close to a lot of iconic food shops. When I leave my door, I walk by countless vegetable stands, three cheese shops, a fantastic kitchen supply store, and, perhaps most tempting of all, Tortilleria San Roman. This pocket shop has hot fresh tortillas coming off the press all day long and a variety of house-made salsas. My favorite is their (unfermented) verde. The amount of salsa we’ve bought from there convinced me to start growing my own tomatillos so I could make my own fermented version. This is the result.

Tomatillo Salsa Recipe


• 1 bunch of cilantro, divided
• 40 mini or 10 regular tomatillos, husk removed, rinsed to remove stickiness
• 1 heaping teaspoon (4 g) minced white onion
• 1 small clove of garlic, minced
• 1-1/2 teaspoons (9 g) kosher salt
• 1 cup (235 ml) filtered water


1. Place half of the bunch of cilantro in a pint (500 ml) jar. Top with the tomatillos, onion, and garlic. Stir the salt into the water and pour the brine into the jar.

2. Close the jar with its lid, but leave the ring loose so that CO2 can escape during fermentation.

3. Allow to ferment for 7 to 10 days and then strain off and reserve the liquid. Pulse the remaining half bunch of cilantro and the contents of the jar in a food processor until chunky. If you want a wetter salsa, add the reserved fermenting liquid a tablespoon (15 ml) at a time until you have the consistency you want. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. 

Yield: 1 pint (450 g)

Learn more about the Benefits of Fermenting Vegetables.

Excerpted with permission from Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Feifer and published by Quarto Publishing Group USA, 2015. Buy this book from our store: Ferment Your Vegetables.