Ensalada criolla is a zingy onion salad which can be found with practically every meal in Peru. It’s got a strong taste from the lime and coriander making it a real palate cleanser, and it can be prepared at a spice level that suits you depending how much 'aji amarillo' you choose to include. It’s a key ingredient in the famous Peruvian sandwich, the butifarra. Every chef has their own small variation, we choose not to include any vegetable oil (it’s healthier this way and just as delicious!) and to add a little red pepper for colour.
2 medium-sized red onions
1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste (or to taste)
Juice of 3 limes
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Half a red pepper, seeds and pith removed, chopped into small slices
Salt and pepper
Cut the onion in half and then slice as finely as possible. Add them to a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of salt and leave to soak for a few minutes.
Pour the onion into a colander and wash in cold water. This process helps to keep the onions lovely and crunchy.
Place the onions in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste.