Chilean Holiday Special: Pebre



Pebre must be one of the most beloved and widely consumed of all Chilean dishes. It’s a salsa which is served with bread at just about every restaurant in Chile and a firm favourite at dinner tables. Everyone has their own recipe, of course and ingredients can vary. This recipe is from my friend and neighbour, Loreto Fuchslocher Arancibia.

The ingredients for pebre.
The ingredients for pebre.


  • 1 cup onion (can be regular or purple onion, shallots or spring onions)
  • 2 cups tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 1.5 large sprigs of coriander (cilantro)
  • Salt
  • White wine vinegar
  • Vegetable oil (olive or sunflower)
  • Optional extras: we tried out options with merquen (this is a Chilean smoked, ground chilli pepper seasoning), green pepper and olives. You can also add avocado. Many people also add a bought chilli paste.


Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash it under running water and then sprinkle salt over it and leave it for a few minutes. Rinse and drain. This is a good way of preparing onions if you find that they are hard to digest.

Peel and finely chop the tomatoes.

Peel and crush the garlic.

Finely chop the green chilli pepper. If you don’t want it to be hot, you can take out the pips and the white vein. If you do want a spicy pebre, you can leave them and add extra chilli if you want.

Wash, dry and finely chop the coriander (cilantro) leaves, removing most of the stems.

Put the prepared vegetables into a bowl.

Classic Chilean cuisine: bread, pebre and red wine.
Classic Chilean cuisine: bread, pebre and red wine.


  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Any of the optional extras

Mix it all up and try it out. You may want to add more vinegar, oil and/or salt. Just keep adding a little until it is just how you want it.

Put the pebre in a container in the fridge until you need it. Pebre is one of those dishes that gets better the longer you leave it.

You may also like to see the following recipes:

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