Chilean Pebre sauce or Pebre Chileno is essential to our traditional dishes: Humitas (fresh corn tamales), Empanadas de Pino (beef empanadas), winter (Porotos con Riendas), and summer (Porotos granados) beans soups, are not the same without a good Pebre Chileno. It comes to the table with the appetizers like Sopaipillas or Choripan or Pan Amasado and stays to be enjoyed with numerous Chilean main dishes.
The recipe is infinitely adaptable, and each family has preferences, so suit yourself.
What is Chilean Pebre?
It’s a sauce or condiment served at home and at restaurants in Chile to complement many meals. Pebre combines cilantro, onion, tomato, and Ají Cristal (sweet or spicy pepper), with vinegar and oil. It’s very old and traditional. Each family in Chile has its recipe.
How do you store it?
Once ready, Pebre can be kept in the fridge in a closed container for a couple of hours. It’s best not to refrigerate overnight since the cilantro will oxidize and change flavor and color.
If left overnight, I suggest correcting the seasoning the next day because the tomato juices dilute the flavors.
Can I use olive oil?
Traditionally, no, you should not use olive oil. Pebre needs to be seasoned with more neutral vegetable oils. I like grapeseed and sunflower oil.
Can I use any kind of onions?
Again, since Pebre is such a simple sauce, with very few ingredients to stick to tradition, you should use yellow Spanish onion. Red onions are not popular in Chile. In a pinch, green onions could be the best replacement.
Is Pebre spicy?
No, many families don’t add chilies or spicy peppers to their Pebre. Many families will put the bottle or bowl of chili paste on the table for each dinner to adjust the spiciness.
Is Pebre the same as Pico de Gallo?
No, Pico de Gallo is a Mexican dish made with tomatoes, yellow onion, and jalapeños; some recipes include a little chopped cilantro. As Pebre is Chilean and mostly based on chopped cilantro.
Is Pebre the same as Chancho en Piedra?
No, Chancho en Piedra has a different texture and never includes cilantro. See the recipe here: Chancho en Piedra.
Recipe originally published in June 2014.Print
- 1/4 onion chopped very small (white or yellow onion)
- 1 bunch cilantro or 2 cups cilantro leaves
- 1–2 tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili sauce, like Tabasco
- Chop the onion finely, can be placed in boiling water for 10 minutes, then wash with cold water and drain.
- Separate the stems of the cilantro leaves, and discard the thicker stems. Chop all the rest very fine.
- Cut tomato into four and discard the seeds. Chop the rest into small cubes.
- Gather everything in a bowl and season. Stir well and taste. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- It is better to let it rest for 1 hour before eating, so the flavors marry.
- Serve with BBQ, empanadas, etc.
It can be done in the food processor, but chop everything separately to get the right texture.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 0minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Chilean
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 23
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 302.9 mg
- Fat: 1.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.6 g
- Fiber: 0.5 g
- Protein: 0.4 g
Keywords: Pebre Chilean Sauce