Chimol or Chirmol? That is the question.

Chimol ingredients.

Fresh ingredients.

Salvadorians are known to be stubborn. So stubborn they won’t admit when they’re wrong. Which is why one of our popular dishes goes by two different names. I’m not sure which is correct, but that’s the least of my worries. Whether it’s chimol or chirmol, it’s fricken good and that’s all that matters.

Chimol is a fresh salsa made of tomato, radish, red onion and cilantro. Similar to chimichurri, chi mol is usually served with carne asada, or flank steak. It’s a match made in heaven. My mom used to make it often and I watched and helped her make it as a child to the point I can practically make it with my eyes closed. It’s one of those things I usually make without measuring because I know the perfect ratio by just be slicing, dicing and mixing the ingredients together. My sister, who recently moved far away, has also perfected the recipe so I made sure to get her take on the recipe before she left.

Notes: This is not supposed to be a spicy salsa, hence the omission of jalapeño pepper. The radish gives it enough of a kick (chimol pictured does not contain radish).

If you like or dislike any of the ingredients – whether it be the radish, tomato, cilantro, or onion, feel free to add more or less according to taste. One time a few friends and I were making chimol together and one of them insisted the ratio for cilantro to everything else was 50:50! One friend who dislikes cilantro clearly disagreed. A friendly discussion ensued.


  • 1 cup chopped radish
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • pinch of salt
  • squirt of lime juice from a fresh lime

Combine all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.

Served best with flank steak.

Served best with flank steak.

chimol top view

Chill until ready to serve.