Favorites: Chilean Food

a-lo-pobre
Photo Credit: Edú

The language instructors at my Spanish school invited the students to join them for happy hour last night. Some of the instructors were hungry since they usually eat dinner at 9 or 10 in Chile. They ordered a few plates of bife a lo pobre to share. This consists of fried beef and onions over french fries with friend eggs on top. I love the concept of this dish, probably because it’s so close to an American breakfast.

When E. and I visited Valparaíso, we just happened to walk past a vegetarian restaurant named Jardín del Profeta (Viana 99 at the bottom of Cerro Alegre) that served a really good soy burger a lo pobre. We heaped merquen, the Chileans’ favorite dried red pepper spice, on top. It was the ultimate comfort food.

We have become addicted to a sauce called “ají chileno” which is a thicker and saltier version of regular hot sauce. It contains an admirable amount of heat for a culture that doesn’t like hot and spicy food. I started buying it in jumbo size so I don’t have to buy a small container every week. It’s probably not the healthiest condiment in the world.

Aji Chileno

Another good condiment is called pebre. This dipping sauce is often given as an appetizer with small, white buns. The ingredients are equal to pico de gallo but it contains lemon juice and vinegar and has a more blended (rather than chunky) consistency.

What condiment can you not live without?

9 Comments

Filed under Chile, Food

9 responses to “Favorites: Chilean Food

  1. The first dish is actually (in my mind) Argentinean. 😉 It’s called milanesa a caballo.🙂

    Hey–I didn’t know that. It seemed somehow familiar, but I never got to try it since it’s usually served with meat. Did you bring some chimichurri home with you?😉

  2. jill

    your posts make me hungry. i want aji chileno. now.

  3. My favorite Argentine condiment is definitely chimichurri, but my favorite condiment of all time… Oh, that’s tough! It’s a toss-up between hot sauce and ketchup. From those two condiments you can make so many other sauces!

    More food posts, please.🙂

    I don’t know; I think you might like aji chileno more… Don’t tell Daniel.😉

  4. That totally looks like a breakfast you’d find at a typical greasy spoon!

    Yes! Mission accomplished.😉

  5. I LOVE pebre. I wish they would sell it pre-made so that I could buy it from Jumbo!

    I’m not such a fan of things a lo pobre, unless I’m jonesing for junk. Which does ocassionally happen, I’ll admit.😛

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  7. I love hot sauces, too. I don’t use a lot of prepared condiments, but I do love a hot Thai chili sauce, or even just a hot pepper sauce. And there’s always pesto, of course!

    Chalula and Texas Pete are a couple of my favorite hot sauces.

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  9. I love this topic of conversation, I hope more people do what I do with my partner .. send food to different places in our country and outside of it.
    When you has been out of the country, the flavors are the best way to keep the memories of the world!

    saludos desde chile

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