Xni-Pec is a Yucatan salsa made with fresh habanero peppers, tomato, onion, sour orange juice and more. It packs some heat, and as the name implies, might make you sweat like a dog's nose.
Yucatan Habanero Salsa - "Xni-Pec"
Sweat like a dog's nose you may, my friends. The fresh habanero peppers in this salsa makes it quite hot, but addictively so. It is pleasant, really, as any fresh salsa can be and you can practically make it with ingredients straight out of your garden.
It is quite similar to pico de gallo in both composition and flavor, though quite a bit hotter and more of the typical habanero tropical flavor.
The name says it all. Xni Pec, pronounced "Shnee Pek", translates to "Dog's Nose" or "Dog's Snout" in Mayan, which implies you will sweat like a dog's nose when you eat it. I can verify the truth in this statement.
I made this salsa on a Saturday and snapped a photo, then posted it on Facebook, sharing how gorgeous it looked - and truly, it DOES look gorgeous, doesn't it? I received a comment from my neighbor to bring it to her party the next day for her son's 8th grade graduation - Congrats, Jacob!
While it was a hit at the party - it received many compliments - I think it was mostly a hit with Jacob and his young friend as they proceeded to devour half of the bowl together.
They enjoyed the flavor at first, but as the chow down session wore on, both were beading with sweat on their foreheads and attempting to waft the fumes of heat from their mouths.
Luckily there was a bit of whipped cream for them at the end of the evening to help control the burn, but I'm happy to say I believe I've converted a few more in the world to chileheads.
Yes! Goal accomplished.
Let's talk about how to make Xni Pec, shall we?
Xni Pec Ingredients
- Habanero Peppers. Habaneros are key to this dish for their fiery heat and citrusy flavor.
- Tomato. Juicy Roma tomatoes are great here.
- Onion. I'm using white onion.
- Sour Orange Juice. Sour orange juice is a unique ingredient that makes this dish special. If you can't find it, use fresh lime juice + fresh orange juice (as a variation, try grapefruit juice).
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro.
- Salt. To personal taste.
How to Make Xni Pec (Habanero Salsa) - the Recipe Method
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust for salt. Watch out for the punch of initial heat!
Cover and refrigerate overnight for the flavors to mingle and develop. Serve!
Boom! Done! Your habanero salsa is ready to serve. Get ready to sweat, my friends. Xni-Pec truly delivers in the heat department. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
You can serve this salsa recipe up right away, as it is quite awesome when fresh, or let it sit covered in the refrigerator at least a couple hours or better yet, overnight, to allow the flavors to develop, just as you would do with a pico de gallo.
I like it both ways. Serve this as an appetizer along with chips, or as a garnish for tacos or tostados. I often like to spoon salsa over fish or chicken for a healthier but big-on-flavor meal choice.
Xni Pec will certainly deliver on those accounts. I hope you enjoy it as much as the soon-to-be freshmen did!
The citrus in this salsa really tamed the other ingredients to my own personal tastes. Sometimes raw onion can be harsh, but not so with this recipe. It was quite hot, but delicious.
Try Some of My Other Popular Salsa Recipes
- Habanero Salsa
- Fresh Mango Salsa
- Salsa Criolla - Argentinian Salsa
- Homemade Picante Sauce
- Salsa Roja
- Salsa Verde
- Fresh Ghost Pepper Salsa
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Xni-Pec (Dog’s Nose) - Habanero Salsa Recipe
- 3 habanero peppers chopped (or more, as desired)
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1 small white onion chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh sour orange juice or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice + 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (as a variation, try grapefruit juice)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight for the flavors to mingle and develop. Serve!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 6/3/22 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 6/6/16.