Jun 11
2013

Pebre—The Chilean condiment everyone should know about.

in Chilean, Fruits & Vegetables, Sauces & Condiments

Chilean Pebre

Pebre, a ubiquitous Chilean condiment that can be found accompanying a wide variety of meals throughout the country, in restaurants and homes alike, was a revelation to me.  It was love at first bite.  The sauce varies depending on the region of Chile and the household in which it’s made in, but the basic building blocks are cilantro, garlic, onion, olive oil, and ground aji chili peppers.  If Mexican pico de gallo and Argentinian chimichurri had a baby, it might look something like pebre.

Chilean pebre condiment salsa

When I was cooking with Ms. M, she explained that pebre is something you always have on hand because in Chile they put it on top of everything, from boiled potatoes to empanadas, from stirring it into soup or spooning it over meat.  As she chopped ingredients, Ms. M told me stories of the giant jars of pebre her grandmother would make and keep in the refrigerator, constantly having to replenish what she had made because everyone ate so much of it.

Making Chilean Pebre

Making the sauce is easy.  All you have to do is chop up all of your ingredients into little bits, then mix in a few other ingredients like crushed red chili pepper flakes, olive oil, spicy red chili sauce (Ms. M says sriracha makes a perfect substitution for the Chilean ingredient, Aji Chileno, that she would use in Chile!), and red wine vinegar.  Ms. M’s mom suggests using the Regina red wine vinegar, as it tastes most like the kind she would by in Chile.  Once all of that is mixed up, then you add enough cold water to just barely cover the ingredients in your bowl, stir everything again, then cover it and put it in the refrigerator for a bit to let the flavors meld and develop.

The result is a spicy, tangy, herbaceous sauce that will have your taste buds popping.  I dare you not to love it.

Pebre

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Pebre (Chilean Chili Salsa)

Makes approximately 3 cups

*Notes: This is the way Ms. M’s grandmother taught her to make pebre.  Ms. M is from Santiago, so her pebre may look very different from a pebre made in someone’s home in another part of the country.  That’s the beauty of this condiment!  Some versions use tomatoes, others don’t.  Some use onion, and others, like Ms. M’s family recipe, use scallions.  Some use chopped chilis, and others use a chili paste!  The sky is the limit.  If you don’t like something, change it up and make you’re own version of pebre!

6 scallions, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro (approximately 1.5 ounces), leaves and small stems finely chopped
3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (Regina Red Wine Vinegar is best)
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy red chili sauce, like sriracha
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus additional to taste
water

1. Mix everything, except the water, together in a medium sized bowl.

2. Add enough cold water to barely cover the contents of bowl.

3. Mix everything together, cover, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to let all of the flavors blend.  Best eaten the day it is made.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }



Bob June 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Holy crap, I need to make that right now.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Best reaction ever! LOL Hope you adore it as much as I do!

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Lucía Ramírez Nicolás via Facebook June 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

srira… what? xD we don’t have that here. It works better with finely chopped green chili. And a good pebre has LOTS of fresh tomato, Also, real pebre is made with onions, not scalions. Usually, pebre is eaten on top of “sopaipillas” (fried bread dough) or choripanes, but nothing else really, it’s not in everyday meals. Your version looks good, it’s more gourmet, I want to try it :3

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Thanks Lucia. Actually, this isn’t my recipe. As I mention in my post, it’s my friend’s recipe. She is from Santiago, and this is the way her grandmother taught her to make pebre. Her family ate it on a regular basis, and the list of foods I mentioned were things she told me about. As far as the sriracha goes, this is what she uses now that she lives here in the US as a substitute for aji chileno. From what I’ve read, there are many versions of pebre! My friend will laugh when I tell her someone said her pebre is gourmet.

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Patricio February 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Lucia , you are absolute wrong. I am Chilean, and I have preparing pebre for many years. Eaten pebre on top of “sopaipillas” is something that started some 20 years ago. You can use pebre as a dip, you can added to meets, rice, etc….It seems that you never have tried pebre beside sopaipillas and choripanes….Even with hamburgers is good.

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Helencita February 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm

I think some of you Chileans are missing the point , that this is a recipe created to taste like Chilean Pebre, it is not the way we make it in Chile. Of course no one uses sriracha chili sauce in Chile we use Aji Chileno. NO other fresh pepper I have ever tried in the USA is close in taste, but the Siiracha sauce does definitely come close.
:D I do have to laugh because Pebre is different everywhere in Chile and Tomatoes are most definitely not always in Pebre. In my family Pebre is green and there are NO tomatoes used ever.But everywhere you go Pebre is different.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) February 23, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Thank you so much for your comment Helencita! You said perfectly what I was trying to have come across. Your green pebre sounds DELICIOUS!

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Kate March 6, 2017 at 8:54 am

Interesting debate. I am going to try Fujimama’s recipe, but I would also like to try yours, if you feel like sharing it Helencita. I saw pebre being made by our Airbnb hostess this past New Year’s Eve. She used tomatoes and the concoction looked luscious, but I don’t eat raw tomatoes so I didn’t request the recipe. Others in my family do eat tomatoes raw, so I’ll try this out on them (along with pastel de choclo).

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Valentina June 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I’ve never heard of this condiment. It’s gorgeous! And that combination of flavors – oh my! :-)

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Betsy June 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Whoa! This looks amazing. Right up my alley for sure. I’m going to give it a try!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Cannot wait to hear what you think! I’m currently obsessed with it, so I personally think everyone should have to try it. ;-)

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Jayne June 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm

I can totally see why people would want this on top of everything!

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Kika Newell via Facebook June 12, 2013 at 6:06 am

Im making this one! Yum!!

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nessa June 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm

My family is Mexican, and this looks like a great twist on the norm. Yum :)

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Kenny June 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I can hardly wait until my tomatoes ripen so I can try this!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

I’m warning you now Kenny, you’re going to become a pebre addict!

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Pilar Hernandez June 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Love the story behind! I’m Chilean and yes, we love our pebre.

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Kathy Stutzman June 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Okay this recipe was a show stopper, from the pictures to the ingredients to the flavor! I am already on my third batch and everyone in my family loves it – we have has it on top of Mexican lasagne, meatloaf, nachos and baked potato. Each time I have made it I have tried a variation – adding red onion, bird’s eye chilis, limes and then all of the above on top of the recipe. This is addicting and soooo simple. Not only am I thrilled to have this in my bag of tricks, but I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before – every ingredient in the salsa are our favs. Thanks so much for posting, you gave us a lot of fun things to experiment with over the weekend! – Mama Caruso @mamacaruso1

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Ann August 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Love your recipes!

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Recetas Veganas August 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Eternal Love to Pebre <3
Saludos desde Santiago de Chile (:

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Helen August 24, 2013 at 9:44 am

Pebre was the absolute highlight of my Chilean trip last year! Love it on ALL the things :)

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) August 28, 2013 at 5:32 am

@Helen — Glad to know someone else is putting it on everything like me. ;-)

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Tammy Vracatos November 24, 2013 at 1:57 am

Sorry to disagree with Lucia but I’m Chilean too and we really eat it on everything what you said couldn’t have been said better. This recipe is almost identical yo my familys recipe. Like you said there are many variations, one of my friends used to put chicken stock instead of water. I’m glad a non Chilean is loving and promoting our Pebre. Thanks

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Helencita April 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm

wow, I am a transplanted Chilena and I miss pebre so much. The Siracha Chile was perfect as a substitute and tastes very much like the Aji Chileno we get there. I tried this recipe and it is delicious , I added some finely chopped red peppers because with the tomato and the Siracha it all looked a little brown.
I will agree with you that every family,and every restaurant in Chile have their own version, sometimes very red , sometimes with tomatoes and sometimes all green, mild or fiery.
In our family and in my experience the most common way to eat it is on bread usually with butter. In The south we buy pan corriente or amasado, that look sort of like English muffins. Split , toasted , buttered and slathered with Pebre. Yummy on eggs for breakfast too

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Tammy May 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

LOVE that you’ve found a way to adapt this recipe to things we can find in the states! Oh how I’ve missed that flavor :) Any suggestions for a Chrizo substitute? Chilean chrizo is NOT the same as Mexican chrizo which is all we can find here. I miss my greasy chroipan!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) August 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

Hi Tammy, unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions! I’ve never had Chilean chorizo, though now you’ve got me dying to try some!

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Patricio August 8, 2014 at 10:45 am

I am chilean. We don’t use scalion. We use onion, tomato, cilantro, green peper- banana pepper- little oregano, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic.

I brought this salasa that I made to a work party. For two days , after the party, people have been asking me for the receipe…

You can use it in any dish….beens, sausages, chorizos, omelet, egs, etc….even you can have it with bread (portuguess rol or baguette) and red
wine, this is the ultimate combination…..

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) May 28, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Hi Patricio, this recipe is actually my friend’s recipe. She is from Santiago and this is the way her family made it in Chile. I find it fascinating how this particular condiment differs depending on where you are in Chile and what family is making it!

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Adolfo August 20, 2016 at 7:17 am

Is your recipie available?

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Andy November 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

Hey there, yes i’m another Chilean but i’m not here to argue. There are tons of pebre’s recipes, your friend’s is another one, i think i agree with eating pebre with almost everything. I must say that i don’t eat it on my daily basis but every time i go out and have the chance to taste it with some bread, meat, salad, sopaipillas or something else.
I came here looking for a pebre recipe at pinterest and they led me to your blog, i must say that this is really nice and your pictures are fantastic!.
Greetings from santiago

Andy

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Meg June 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm

I made this tonight for a salsa competition and I won first place! Great recipe, unique and everyone liked it so much there wasn’t any left over! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 9, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Meg you totally made my day! Congrats on the win! I’ll have to let my friend know that her family’s recipe won you a first place, she’ll be tickled!

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Laura September 17, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Hi there!

I’m chilean and I love pebre! You’re totally right when you say the recipe slightly varies from family to family but the base pretty much is the same, sometimes I add green onion and/or radish to my recipe, give it a try!

Loves from Concepción!

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Ruth Gutierrez November 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I am Chilean, and what I know about pebre is that it does not have tomatoes in it, if you add tomatoes its called chancho en piedras.
But its great either way ?

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) November 15, 2015 at 9:23 am

Hi Ruth, This recipe is from a 90-year-old Chilean grandma from Santiago!

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Recetas Chilenas November 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe from my country (:

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Pam Huber February 14, 2016 at 6:43 pm

I must have this in my life..This will be made soon..I may have to add some fresh roasted green chili to it..Thanks for the share!

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Kira July 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

I am Chilean also and, although I am delighted to see the popularity of pebre rise in the world, many conservative cooks would stone the recipe maker for adding water. It tones down the flavors of the sauce, making it bland. Most of the time, it’s just enough to have the tomato juices do their job, and if it’s not enough, there is also vinegar. And something extra would be some lemon or key lime juice, although the latter would make it more like Mexican pico de gallo.
And if you ask me, yes, there are many varieties of this recipe, but from what I’ve eaten in lots of houses and restaurants (And I really mean lots of them), water is a sin. And if I have a personal variety, yes, it features purple onions and Peruvian chili pepper (Rocoto), as it’s more common in the north of Chile, where I live.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) August 4, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I am sharing the recipe exactly as it was shared with me from a grandmother from Santiago…so you’d have to take the water issue up with her! ;-)

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Ximena October 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Hi Rachel, I am Chilean and I love this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to share something from our country. I appreciate that! :)

Ximena

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Scott February 8, 2017 at 9:17 pm

This is twice as good as pico de gallo! Thanks so much for the recipes.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) February 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm

I agree! So much flavor and I find that I like it on a wider variety of foods than pico de gallo.

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Michele Wilson March 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

I’ll have to try this recipe out. My mom is Chilean and her cousin Claudio (a professional chef that owns restaurants in Santiago and Vina del Mar) makes THE BEST pebre (a few differences from your version are his use of safflower oil, shallots, and WHITE wine vinegar). I’ve made it several ways and have never been able to replicate his delicious version. I’d like to try this as a comparison.

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