Peruvian salsa criolla

Peruvian salsa criolla

By
From
Cantina
Makes
750 g
Photographer
Chris Middleton

This red and white, sweet and sour Peruvian onion salsa is simple and delicious. Peruvians are very fussy about the treatment of onions and soak them to mellow their harshness, giving a more harmonious flavour that does not overwhelm other ingredients. This process also helps to prevent heartburn. Salsa criolla can be made using red or white onion. The red onion version is great with grilled spiced skirt (flank) steak, while the white onion version is better matched with sashimi or cured, smoked, roasted or barbecued oily fish such as tuna, swordfish or salmon. For a more authentic preparation, cut the onions into thin half-moons. This method is known as ‘a la pluma’, as the onions are said to look like feathers.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g sugar
250ml cider vinegar
2 red or white onions
80g sea salt
1 small bulb fennel
2 jalapenos or amarillo chillies
1-2 red or white banana or bullhorn chillies
1 small handful tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley or coriander leaves, roughly chopped
4 limes, grated zest and juiced

Method

  1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan and gently simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cut the cheeks off the onions and slice very thinly. Place the onion in a medium bowl, sprinkle with the salt and cover with hot water. Stand for 5 minutes then drain.
  3. Slice the fennel and chillies into thin strips the same size as the onion.
  4. Place the onion, fennel, chillies and herbs in a medium bowl and combine.
  5. Add the lime zest and juice to the cooled vinegar liquid and pour over the onion mixture.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Paul’s tip

  • To make a red salsa criolla, instead of the fennel, substitute 1 cooked heirloom beetroot (beet), such as watermelon or target beetroot.
Tags:
Latin
Mexican
Mexico
Cantina
Paul Wilson
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