Feb 13, 2019

Salsa criolla o sarza criolla (onion salad)


  • 1 medium red onion finely sliced
  • 1 ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili pepper) or rocoto in thin slices and without seeds (you could try to replace it with jalapeno pepper or red bell pepper)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 table spoon of chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1 medium size tomato in dices (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper

Put the sliced onion in a bowl, cover with cold water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Strain thoroughly. Add the ají amarillo or rocoto, the cilantro or parsley, tomato and lime juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste and mix carefully.

You can use it immediately or put it in the fridge for up to an hour. It is a perfect companion for tamales, papa rellena (stuffed potato), fried fish, butifarra or chicharrón sandwich (deep fried pork sandwich).

Jan 7, 2019

Chochoca (cornmeal soup)


  • 1.5 cups of cornmeal
  • 1 kg or beef meat in big pieces
  • 150 g. of chalona (salted dried lamb meat - this is hard to get so you can skip it if unable to find it)
  • 1 finely chopped celery stalk
  • 1 finely chopped leek
  • 1 cup of chopped daikon
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white cabbage
  • 4 potatoes in pieces
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of aji colorado paste
  • 10 cups of hot water
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 cup of chopped yerba Buena (mint)
  • Salt

Put the cornmeal in a small bowl and add 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly. Reserve.

Heat the oil in a big pot. Add the onion, garlic, aji colorado and cumin, and cook stirring frequently until the onion is translucent. Add the meat, chalona, celery, leek, daikon and salt to taste, and fried for a couple of minutes stirring frequently and flipping the pieces of meat so all sides looked cooked. Add the hot water and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and cabbage and half of the yerba buena. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Add the cornmeal mix slowly, stirring frequently. Add more salt if needed. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Serve hot and sprinkle it with some yerba buena.

Arroz arabe (Arab rice)

This is a side dish that is usually prepared in Christmas or New Year's Eve to be served with stuffed turkey or roasted pork.


  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of classic Coke
  • 1/2 cup of roasted almonds or nuts
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (you can skip the raisins if you don't like them too much)
  • 100 g. of angel hair pasta, vermicelli or other thin long pasta
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 minced garlic gloves
  • Salt

Heat the oil in big pan or pot. Add the pasta broken in pieces and fry it stirring constantly. When the pasta starts to get brown add the almonds or nuts (previously crushed), the raisins and garlic, stir frequently until the pasta is brown. Add the water, coke and salt to taste, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.

Alternatively, after frying the pasta and rice, put the whole mix in your rice cooker, add the water, coke and salt to taste. Follow your rice cooker instructions for cooking time.