Parihuela in La Vega Central Market – Santiago
Across the river from the main seafood market in Santiago is the lesser-known market, La Vega Central. Our taxi driver from the airport tells us about La Vega and next day, we set out to find our lunch there.
First we meet a fishmonger selling the popular Chilean fish ‘reineta’. On his recommendation, we choose ‘El Huayteño’, a lunch spot in the centre of the market serving Peruvian style fish dishes as well as Chileño. We order ‘reineta a la plancha’ which arrives at our table grilled to perfection and flavoured with oregano. Angela, our waitress, is delighted when we order ‘parihuela’ to follow.
This is a traditional Peruvian soup, a little similar to Sudado for which you will find a recipe in Hooked on Herring. These types of soups are common in Peru and Chile and rely on a well-flavoured stock and chilli pastes known as ‘ajis’ for their impact. Typically some kind of seafood is added but it is really all about the complexity and balance of the flavours in the broth – just the right amount of chilli, lime and fresh coriander.
Angela brings me white wine curiously served in a coffee mug, which nicely accents the parihuela. Chilean wine is so good!
Too soon we have gobbled down both of our dishes and we say goodbye to Angela and promise to return tomorrow.