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Peruvian Salsa Criolla

Salsa Criolla

Onion-Chili Relish

Salsa Criolla probably is the most important and most popular side dish / sauce in Peru. Prepared with red onions, aji amarillo, the juice of Peruvian limes and some freshly chopped coriander or parsley, Salsa Criolla accompanies numerous typical local dishes and just has to be on the table when enjoying a great Peruvian meal.

Peru's popular onion – chili sauce is quick and easy to prepare at home. But as it gets its authentic flavor at least partly from the aji amarillo, you should really use this kind of chili and don't substitute it. Nowadays you can find aji amarillo sometimes fresh and always in glasses or frozen at many Latin American Food Stores, even online.

LimaEasy's Recipe for Peruvian Salsa Criolla



  • 2 red onions
  • 1-2 aji amarillo
  • 1 Tbsp mild olive oil
  • limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro (or parsley)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Slice the onions into very fine strips and generously salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime deseed and devein the aji amarillo and cut into thin strips, chop the cilantro or parsley and press the limes.
  3. Rinse the onions in plenty of cold water and let drain well.
  4. Place them into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the oil and mix together.
  5. Add aji amarillo, lime juice, vinegar and cilantro or parsley and mix well.
  6. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  7. Before serving adjust seasoning if necessary.
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