So… a lot of gringos ask me about the best salsa, I don’t think there is such thing as “the best” of something when it comes to food. I mean, my dad used to say “god made different colours so people can have different taste” and its because of these differences that we can have endless combinations of flavours that can cater for the endless combinations of taste buds and moods and weather and everything that can affect our personal taste at a determined time.

Salsa is a Spanish word for “sauce”. Gringos (English speaking people) call “salsas” the variety of cold herbal sauces we South American folk make to dress our meat in our asados (firewood bbq). Every country has its own variation, Argentinians make chimichurri, Mexicans have pico de gallo and us Chileans make pebre, don’t be confused though, Chile is a long, long country, and every locality (and every family) will have a personal version of salsa. I’ve tried this version over and over again in Australian restaurants as well as in Chilean asados and it is always a hit.

This is how to make a great pebre to spread over your protein (beef, steak, pork , chicken it all works) or to soak a simple piece of good bread and turn it into a piece of art.



(serves a normal portion for a 10-12 ppl asado)

  • 1 full bunch of the freshest coriander you can find
  • 1 spanish onion (or brown onion)
  • 1 gigantic clove of garlic (or two medium ones)
  • 2 good quality tomatoes (meaning ripe, red and sweet. If you use shit produce you will get shit results and don’t go and blaming my recipe for your lack of care :P)
  • the juice of one juicy lemon
  • salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar
  • chilli optional (you can use a pinch of dry or a bit of fresh, I personally use a pinch of merken which is a smoked cacho de cabra chilli made by Chilean indigenous people the Mapuches)

merquen merken


  1. Wash the coriander and get rid of the excess of water. Chop the stems and leaves finely and place in a bowl
  2. Brunois the onion (in human: chop the onion in tiny little dices) and place in the same bowl as the coriander
  3. Add the juice of 1 lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper to such bowl containing coriander and onion and give it a good mix. Put mix aside to soak in the lemon for 10 minutes
  4. Now finely dice the tomatoes and put them on a different plate. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Let the tomatoes soak up the salt and pepper for 10 minutes
  5. Once everything has finishes soaking/infusing, add the tomatoes to the coriander-onion bowl and add the chilli (in your preferred form) and the pinch of sugar. Mix well
  6. Taste and balance salt and pepper/chilli
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic film and let it sit in the fridge at least 3 hours before serving. During this time your pebre will brew in all the juices and will turn into a soggy delicious and good looking mess that would turn anything into a festival of fresh flavour in your mouth!


Serve and watch them smile

We eat this all the time as a side to steaks, at every BBQ and on tacos!


from chilli with love



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