What Are Salchipapas?

Sonal Panse

Salchipapas is the term given to a combination of fried sausage and potato dishes that are prepared as a fast food in Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine. These dishes are available in restaurants and snack bars, and are also commonly sold by fast food vendors manning street carts. The popularity of this fast food lies in the fact that it is tasty, filling and not particularly expensive. It is best, however, to eat salchipapas in moderation and certainly not in place of regular meals. This type of food is not considered very healthy on account of the grease used in its preparation and because of the inclusion of fried sausages; the consumption of such processed meats is best kept to a minimum.

Hot dogs, which can be used to make salchipapas.
Hot dogs, which can be used to make salchipapas.

The basic salchipapas ingredients are, of course, potatoes and sausage or hot dog links. To make the potato fries for the salchipapas, the potatoes are peeled, cut into thin, long slices and placed in salt water for about an hour. They are then removed, drained, and fried in canola or sunflower oil for five to ten minutes. They are set aside on paper towels to drain away excess oil and after they have cooled, the potatoes are fried again until they turn golden-brown and crisp. The sausages are fried next, with cross cuts made at the end of each.

Potatoes are a key ingredient in salchipapas.
Potatoes are a key ingredient in salchipapas.

Generally, salchipapas are eaten with mayonnaise, tomato sauce or ketchup, or a combination of mayonnaise and tomato sauce that is called salsa rosada or salsa golf. The fried potatoes and sausages are mixed together and are topped by the salsa, which may be served warm or may be refrigerated before use. Raw onion rings, mint and parsley can be added to the mix, if required. The salchipapas may be served in a plate or in a glass, and are generally eaten with a toothpick. While there are only so many ways in which potatoes and sausages can be fried, there are different recipes for the salsa and this determines the overall flavor of the salchipapas. Many food outlets selling salchipapas may have a dedicated following on account of the special salsas they serve.

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