Now I know this site focuses primarily on Argentina but I think it would be great to mix in a few surprises once in a while from the neighbors. This popular condiment, served throughout Chile, is so good that I would never forgive myself for not letting you know of its existence. I can eat pebre like a soup.

Pebre is like the distant cousin of chimichurri for it is used for all the same reasons-to accompany grilled meats. Although chimichurri improves with time, pebre is best enjoyed somewhat fresh. Needs a little time to mesh the flavors, but since cilantro is a primary ingredient, this really needs to be consumed as soon as possible for full enjoyment. Cilantro, a touchy sensitive herb, loses much of its well known pungent flavor quite quickly after use–in case you didn’t know.

If you are familiar with pico de gallo then you’ll probably notice that pebre is quite similar yet perhaps a little more saucier.

Here’s a recipe that I gleaned from a Chilean friend, yet with few minor quantity modifications. As with chimichurri, everyone has their own special recipe where some ingredients are swapped for others or proportions may vary. Scallions or green onions instead of yellow onions. Wine instead of vinegar, and so on.

2 Tomatoes; peeled and finely chopped(almost into a pulp with the juice)
1 Small Onion; minced
1 Small bunch cilantro*; finely chopped
1 hot chili pepper; seeded and minced (jalapeƱo, serrano, etc)
Juice of one lemon
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon chili paste** (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl. Allow to sit for at least an hour. Use within a day for maximum flavor.

*Cilantro is a wonderful herb yet many are turned off by it. Has a soap-perfume smell or taste they say. If they don’t like it, too bad, more of this tasty sauce for those who do. Mess around with the quantities to your liking.

**Sold throughout Chile and Argentina, Knorr’s Aji Picante is the chili paste of choice for some versions of pebre. If you can’t find Knorr’s, just substitute with Sriracha (or any thick spicy red chili sauce) although it may add a stronger taste.

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6 Comment(s)

  1. This looks fantastic, thanks for the recipe.

    Pepper | May 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. It is very close to how my family in Michoacan Mexico makes Pico de Gallo. The only ingredients they leave out are the olive oil and vinegar. I hope my relatives like it.

    Miguel | Jan 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. the soapy-perfume taste some people believe cilantro has is simply a genetic predisposition, and sadly no measure of convincing can lead that person to like cilantro. Poor them….

    Alejandro | Jul 9, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hey Alejandro,

    I was able to convert some but it took a long process of slowly increasing the amount used. But yeah, there are some who can even taste the tinest piece and will never join our side.

    Asado Argentina | Jul 18, 2008 | Reply

  5. some of us, to our betterment, HAVE learned to like it!! and it was due to pebre…

    kim | Aug 24, 2008 | Reply

  6. The Pebre is great!!!!!

    I love coriander/cilantro.
    Didn’t have fresh chillies so used some chili jam and peri peri and chili oil.
    Ate the whole bowl with some roast chicken :)

    Thank you for the great recipes from Australia

    Paul Casaneanu | Jun 23, 2009 | Reply

3 Trackback(s)

  1. Feb 29, 2008: from 2008 February 29 | Modern Forager
  2. Oct 4, 2008: from Grilled Shark with Pebre Sauce from Mike's Table
  3. Mar 13, 2011: from The Traditional Diet of Chile : Naked Food Cooking

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