Food in the busy Port of Callao, the most important in Peru, is esteemed as one of the best of the country, especially when it comes to fish and seafood. Still in tune with Lent, today we’re sharing the recipe for one of our most popular local hors d’oeuvre: choritos a la chalaca. Choritos are mussels, and “a la chalaca” means “Callao-style“. It’s simple: steamed mussels, covered with a vegetable medley, (very spicy with the kick of rocoto).Usually they are served with cold beer before lunch, as a tasty treat to open the appetite.
When buying mussels, make sure they are extremely fresh and heavy for their size, but not too much because they could be full of sand. -Buying fresh mussels is the easiest thing to do in Lima, because the rocks by the shore are covered with them.- Cook them for a few minutes, and they will open their shells to reveal the sweet morsels hiding inside. And be very careful not to overcook them, because everything will turn into a rubbery disaster. Discard any shell that stays closed because it probably has gone bad and could be dangerous to eat.
That’s all! Easy and simple.
- 12 mussels
- 1 cup white wine
- ½ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup corn kernels, cooked
- 1 tablespoon rocoto, chopped (or any other chili pepper)
- 4 limes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
- Clean the mussels and remove the beards attached to the shells.
- Put them in a saucepan with the wine, cover and bring to a boil. When you see the steam, check if all the mussels are open. Turn off the heat, take out the mussels and let cool.
- Meanwhile combine red onion, tomato, corn, rocoto, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley leaves.
- Discard one of the shells of the mussels, cover with a tablespoon of this salsa with some of its juice, and serve immediately at room temperature.