Make this salsa monja recipe -a sauce cum side dish invented by the nuns in the Philippines. Perfect to pair with fish, meat, or just as a dip and relish!

I swear I have not heard of Salsa Monja till my Gourmet in A Bottle session at The Maya Kitchen with Chef Mira Angeles of Spell Kitchen.

And I actually lived with Monghas when I was in High School. Well not exactly Monghas, but Madres in Concordia College. I was a troubled youth in High School (-till College actually, lol) and my mom was forced to put me in a dormitory. But a story for another time, perhaps. Hehe.

So, Salsa Monja, according to a quick search in Google is a nuns’ sauce dating back to Spanish times. It’s a side dish or more like an accompaniment for most fried dishes. Its other more descriptive name is shallot and olives pickle. It’s something like our Atchara or Pickled Papaya. It’s tangy, yet creamy at the same time. I brought home a jar and it was even better after 3 days.

Salsa Monja Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/2 cup olive brine
  • 1/2 cup achuete oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green olives, whole
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup small onions (Sibuyas Tagalog)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper


  1. Soak breadcrumbs in olive brine.
  2. Heat achuete oil, add garlic, olives and onions. Saute for 5 minutes then add vinegar.
  3. Add breadcrumbs and chicken stock and let it simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir from time to time to avoid the breadcrumbs from sticking to the pan.
Salsa Monja Recipe

This is the lunch we had that day, all bottled gourmet dishes. I wish they had more rice!

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Salsa Monja Recipe

April Bewell

I am a mom blogger and a freelancer. As a mom, I believe that everything doesn't have to perfect to be wonderful. Sometimes life can be chaotic and we all need a little help now and then. I'm here to help with the mom blues. Aja!

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