Salchipapas: Latin style fries

Ecuadorian salchipapas with salsa rosada and onioncurtido

Salchipapas are Latin style fries served with hot dog sausages, and are a typical South American snack/street food. These salchipapas are topped with tomato onion curtido salsa and ahomemade salsa rosada. You know how sometimes you get cravings for greasy food? At least a few times a year I get cravings for salchipapas or French fries with sausage, which are extremely greasy, unhealthy, but sooo tasty. It all started at a place in the city of Loja called Soda Bar, a small salchipapa snack bar that was always packed. It had the best location: right on the corner of the Plaza Santo Domingo, a park where high school students (including yours truly) loved to hang out. It was also right around the corner from the only movie theater in the city and basically within blocks of three major high schools (La Inmaculada, Marianitas and La Dolorosa). I don’t think there is anyone in Loja, who was in high school or college during the 80s or 90s that didn’t set foot in the Soda Bar -and whose mouth doesn’t water remembering the taste of the “papas del Soda”. These salchipapa french fries were our drug. I’m not joking, I had friends who would pawn their jewelry at the Soda Bar in exchange for their delicious salchipapas.

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Salchipapas
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Yield: For about 4 people

Salchipapas

Salchipapas, or French fries with hot dog sausages, are a typical South American snack/street food. These salchipapas are topped with tomato onion salsa and homemade salsa rosada.

Ingredients

    For the salchipapas:
  • 4-5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin or thick fries depending on your preference
  • 4 hot dog sausages, cut in half or whole, with crosswise cuts on the ends
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Salsa rosada(for about 2 ½ cups of sauce):
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs diced white onion
  • 4 tbs lime juice
  • ¾ cup to 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 8 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional:1 or 2 red chili peppers, seeds and veins removed
  • Also serve with:
  • Curtido de cebolla y tomate
  • Spicy hot sauce or aji

Instructions

    Salsa rosada:
  1. Prepare a basic mayonnaise by blending the egg, diced onion, and lime juice until the onions are completely crushed.
  2. Continue blending and add the oil slowly until the mayonnaise begins to thicken, but don’t let it get as thick as you would if making regular mayonnaise, the consistency should be almost like a sauce.
  3. Add salt to taste and the milk, which is added to mayonnaise to help it keep a white color.
  4. Remove the mayonnaise, you don’t need to remove it all, just most of it, and add the diced tomatoes (and hot peppers if you dare) to the blender.
  5. Blend the tomatoes until well pureed, begin adding back the mayonnaise and blend well, the sauce should be very liquid. Taste and add salt if needed.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Salchipapas:
  8. Soak the potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Drain and dry the potatoes, meanwhile heat the canola oil to 325 F in a deep fryer or deep sauté pan.
  10. Add the potatoes and cook until they are tender, but don’t let them get any color, about 10 minutes depending on their thickness.
  11. Remove the fries and place them on top of paper towels to drain the grease and let them cool down for at least an hour.
  12. Re-heat the oil to 375 F and add the fries, cook until they are golden and crispy, about 5 minutes.
  13. Fry the sausages separately or add them during the last 3 minutes of cooking of the French fries.
  14. Transfer to paper towels to drain the grease and serve immediately with the salsa rosada and curtido.

Salchipapas or fries with hot dog sausages

 The fries and sausages were cooked right in front of you and then served stuffed in plastic cups with a toothpick on top. While there were a lot of places to get salchipapas in Loja, the Soda Bar was the most popular because of the amazing sauce that was drizzled on top of the fries. Their salsa rosada sauce was so amazing that everyone always ordered double sauce. Once the fries and sausages were all gone you lifted up the cup and drank every single sip of that sauce. Most places usually serve salchipapas with mayonnaise and ketchup, either separate or mixed together and called salsa rosada or salsa golf. The sauce from the Soda Bar was a type of salsa rosada, but they made it entirely from scratch, using fresh tomatoes instead of ketchup. It was a very liquid sauce – compared to the thicker mix of mayo and ketchup. No one really knew how they made the sauce, apparently it was a secret, and as much as my friends and I experimented together we couldn’t get it just right.

Salchipapas recipe

I’ve been trying to replicate this sauce for a long time and it’s good, if you’ve ever had the “papas del Soda” it will remind you of it, but it still isn’t an exact replica. Over the years I received some many suggestions for the secret ingredient of the sauce – even from people who haven’t tasted the original. These days I’m happy with my variation of the sauce – during our last visit to Loja I took my kids to try the original salchipapas del Soda, and they weren’t very impressed. After (briefly) wondering if they were really my kids, I decided to forgive them for not appreciating the original when they told me that they prefer our homemade version.

Salchipapas or fries with hot dog sausage Salchipapas with curtido or pickled onions

There was another restaurant that also had memorable salchipapas. I’m not sure of the actual name of the place – even though it was right next door to my high school.  In those days we simple called it “las papas de la Gorda”. These were also delicious, and while they didn’t have the special sauce, their fries were very nice and thick. Plus, they always served them topped with a curtido or lime marinated onion and tomato salsa, which I’ve incorporated into my homemade version of salchipapas. I also recommend eating these awesome Latin fries with some good spicy aji hot sauce and a nice cold beer. I probably don’t even need to say this, but your kids will love salchipapas and will think you are the best mom ever for making these (the nutritionist might disagree).

Recipe for homemade salchipapas with curtido and salsa

Step by step photos of the homemade salsa rosada:

Homemade salsa rosada from scratch

Mayonnaise for salsa rosada Diced tomatoes for salsa rosada

Salsa rosada preparation Salsa rosada del Soda bar

 

Step by step photos of the salchipapas:

salchipapas preparation salchipapas preparation

salchipapas preparation Preparing salchipapas

Salchipapas or french fries Fried hot dogs

Papas fritas or homemande french fries Salchipapas

Salchipapas Salchipapas with salsa and curtido

Homemade salchipapas Salchipapas con salsa y curtido de cebolla

Onion curtido Tomato and onion curtido

Salchipapas with salsa rosada

Salchipapas or South American french fries

 

This post was last modified: August 18th, 2016 by Layla Pujol

Comments

  1. I’m thinking about making this for the Super Bowl. Could you make the salsa rosada a day ahead? Thank you!

    • Hi Melanie – Yes, just keep it refrigerated. I also like to make a few different sauces as options for dipping: a cilantro garlic mayo or aioli goes great with the salchipapas, creamy avocado salsa, etc.

  2. fishcado says:

    I have to repeat it but damn you have one lucky husband!!!

  3. Patricia says:

    No sabes tu la alegria que me das al poner la receta de la salsa del Soda……. actualmente vivo en Pto Rico pero soy de Loja, creci en la pradera y me eduque en la Inmaculada hasta los 7 anios…. y no hubo semana que no valla al Soda y me coma unas “papas con salsa” jijijijij que felicidad y que alegria que hallas obtenido la receta… voy a hacerla en cuanto no pueda. Muchas pero muchas gracias….

  4. Elizabeth says:

    You my friend, have brought back fond memories when I lived in Cuenca, Ecuador. If there is one thing I miss it’s the Shrimp Ceviche, Llapingachos and of course the infamous Salchipapas!! Because of this well written recipe and pictures that make me kiss my screen (twice), I will be having my Salchipapa fix this weekend here in NYC.

  5. josé maría says:

    ahh, salchipapas. I remember growing and eating them as a kid in lima, peru, 50+ years ago. Of course with ketchup, mayo and a lil mustard. Yum.

  6. wow it reminds me when i was in high school in Quito. We use to pawn our calculators in exchange of salchipapas
    Good memories
    tanks

  7. No way! My dad and I went to that place all the time when we lived in Ecuador. I’m surprised that I found it just now as my mom and I made llapingachos. What a blast for the past! Thank you for posting the recipe and the history as well.

  8. I used to have salchipapas every day between classes in Cuenca! I never thought of making them here, but seeing this makes me want to try. Thank you so much! This site brings back so many memories and I love it!

  9. Heathercita says:

    Oh my, how I love Salchipapas. My family lived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and we had these quite often with salsa rosada and pickled onions. Thanks so much for the recipe. Also, if anyone has a recipe for peanut soup or empanadas de queso, please let me know. I cannot find mine anywhere. Here is my email address: heatherdawngarrett at yahoo dot com

    Hi Heathercita – What kind of peanut soup are you looking for? Does it have meat/fish/vegetables? Also for empanadas, here is a link for fried cheese empanadas or also baked cheese empanadas.

  10. Hi Gary – I love your photos! I like the idea of adding dill to the salsa rosada, but I don’t think it’s the secret ingredient, there aren’t any green herbs in the sauce, some of my friends speculate that it might be a tree tomato or tamarillo.

  11. Could the missing salsa rosada ingredient be dill? I have family out in Utah, and I can remember from when we went out there that all the restaurants serve “fry sauce” with their fries instead of ketchup/etc. We’ve tried to make it at home a few times, and all the recipes seem pretty similar to this, with the exception of a small amount of pickle juice.

  12. My parents used to make hotdogs the exact same way, but cook them in a pan instead of frying them in oil. In fact, I just made those a few days ago: oh the memories!

  13. I can’t wait to go home and show this to my husband. He is from Cumbe, Ecuador, which is outside of Cuenca. He has mentioned Loja many times. Something about a pilgrimage that they take to Loja…annually, maybe?

    Anyway, I visited Ecuador with him last year and we enjoyed salchipapas several times. Many people were selling them on the street in his town and his (mine, too) sister-in-law sells them on the weekends. Yummy street food!

    Perhaps this will be on our menu this weekend…he would love it!

  14. YUM.

  15. Oh my goodness, I’m drooling. Lovely post.

  16. What a great post! Salchipapas are also popular here but have never really been something I have loved. You make them look so much better!

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