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Pescado a lo Macho

What’s better than a dreamy marriage between sustainable seafood and Peruvian pepper sauces? This recipe, developed by Leo of Charapa sauces, is sure to please any seafood lover!

Pescado a lo Macho  on white plate and two bottle of Charapa in the background
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Pescado a lo macho is a traditional Peruvian seafood sauce that’s savory, hearty, fragrant, and slightly spicy. Leo, founder of the Santa Cruz local brand Charapa, shares his dairy-free take on this classic recipe with us. This recipe is versatile. 

You can use any seafood you’d like, you can omit white wine if you have it, you can use store-bought fish stock if you don’t want to make your own- the list of variations is endless! 

Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think. You can grab Charapa’s aji amarillo and aji rocoto from our in-person harbor shop or online store.


  • Seafood assortment of your choice (here we use halibut, shrimp, scallop, clam, and squid)
  • 1 lb halibut (or your choice of fish)
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic + garlic for seasoning your fish 
  • Couple basil leaves
  • Couple sprigs of parsley 
  • Green onion (garnish)
  • 2 large tomatoes 
  • ½ large potato 
  • ¼ cup white wine 
  • Aji Amarillo sauce (obviously we recommend the Charapa brand :)!).
  • Aji Rocoto sauce (also from Charapa) 
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste) 
  • Oil of your choice
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Season your halibut (or your preferred fish) with salt, pepper, and garlic. Keep the skin on if you like the crisp! At the same time, fill a pot with water and boil it with celery, leek, onion, and garlic to create a broth. If you prefer, use store-bought vegetable or fish broth. 

Oil a pan and drop your fish in, skin side down. Cook until lightly golden. 

Blend 2 tomatoes (Leo prefers them without skin for a smoother texture) and ½ potato using either a hand-held immersion blender or a traditional blender. 

In a separate pan, saute your ½ diced red onion and 4 minced cloves of garlic in a little bit of oil. Add 2 tablespoons of aji amarillo and 1 tablespoon of aji rocoto. 

Pour in your blended tomato and potato to the onion and garlic mixture. Add salt and black pepper to taste. 

Stir in a couple ladles’ worth of broth, as well as ~¼ cup white wine. The sauce should be about the thickness of marinara sauce or a little more watery. 

Next add your scallop, squid, shrimp, and clams- or any seafood you’ve got. Top with parsley and basil to add some lovely herby aromas. Cover your pan to let the seafood cook for a couple minutes. When the clams open, the seafood sauce is ready! 

To serve, plate your halibut first. Then, pour your seafood sauce (pescado a lo macho) over the fish and this dish is done! Enjoy this recipe that’s certain to please any seafood lover :). 

Note: The traditional recipe for pescado a lo macho uses dairy but this recipe is dairy-free. The creaminess and thickness of this soup comes from potatoes instead! If you are a dairy lover, sub out the potato for cream.


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