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Chirmol Recipe: Guatemalan Salsa, a Perfect Complement to Carne Asada

Watch "<a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.kcet.org/shows/the-migrant-kitchen/" href="https://www.kcet.org/shows/the-migrant-kitchen/" target="_blank">The Migrant Kitchen</a>" to see how a Guatemalan tradition journeyed to an American menu.

Jorge Dugal, kitchen manager of revered restaurant, Providence, shares with us his very own recipe for Chirmol, which is now a staple at Providence. You can watch episode one of Migrant Kitchen that features Jorge.  

Chirmol is Mayan for “running nose,” and this tomato-based salsa is a classic Guatemalan condiment. This recipe was introduced to Dugal by his grandmother. He first prepared this dish for the Providence staff as a crew meal, and it later found its way onto the restaurant’s tasting menu. Traditionally, the sauce is used on carne asada, but can be applied in place of salsa on any dish. Chirmol also pairs well with seafood and makes a delicious twist on a classic shrimp cocktail.

Yields 4 cups 


3 cups tomatoes, charred
1/3 cup red onion 
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 teaspoons mint 
1 teaspoon lime juice


1. Char tomatoes over an open flame.

2. ​Roughly chop the onions, cilantro and mint.

3. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, cilantro, mint and onions.

4. Add lime juice and stir until combined.