Cilantro Sauce

This all-purpose sauce is delicious in soups, stews, and tacos, and spooned over grilled seafood, poultry, and meats. I almost always offer it alongside posole. This photo shows a version with the addition of two ingredients, cucumbers and brined black peppercorns, one of the many variations I enjoy.

There is no substitute for cilantro but if you are one of those people who hate it or are feeding someone who hates it, you can make a delicious sauce using Italian parsley instead of cilantro.

  • Serves 6 to 8
  • Cook Time: 10 Min


  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 serrano, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Put the garlic into a suribachi or molca jete, season generously with salt and use a sturdy pestle to grind it into a paste. Add the serrano, grind and crush it and add the cilantro leaves. Continue to grind and crush until you have a uniform and somewhat coarse mixture.

  2. Stir in the lime juice, taste and correct for salt. Add the olive oil, cover and set aside until ready to use.

This sauce can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days but it is best when it is first made.

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