Gourmet in a Bottle: Salsa Monja Recipe

Salsa Monja Recipe

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

4 thoughts on “Gourmet in a Bottle: Salsa Monja Recipe”

  1. You are heaven sent! I can’t believe that I found this site. I grew up eating Salsa Monja but it’s been so long since I’ve tasted one now that I live in California. My parent’s colleague who is of Spanish decent would make jars of this delicacy using high quality ingredients. I am excited to try this out and eventually share with my brother.
    April, does the instruction really end at step 4? What is the best way to store it? Should I wait until it cools down before pouring it into a mason jar? How long does it last if refrigerated?
    Just the same, thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Hi po! So glad that it was able to help. Yes, aside from the bottling part, wala naman pong kulang. Add a bit of brine if its sticky. it should be spreadable.Cheers!

  2. Cess González

    Never heard of chicken broth in salsa monja. I feel as though it would go rancid fast with animal products in the mix. Also never heard of atsuete as an ingredient only pimentón
    (smoked Spanish paprika!) Just thought I’d share my impressions!

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! As mentioned,this is the recipe i learned. i have tried it several times to good result. Maybe this coming Christmas Ill figure out a way to consider your remarks. Also, Achuete is very common here in the Philippines. Its a Achiote is a spice and coloring agent. We uise it a lot for deserts and dishes.

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Relax Lang Mom is a Pinoy Mom Blog for food, lifestyle, and simple living. I believe that you don’t have to be perfect to be a good mom. Let us give ourselves permission. Permission to not be perfect. Permission to relax. And as my son always say, out of the babes mouth, (which incidentally is where this blog’s name came from) “Relax Lang, Mom!

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