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Pescado a lo Macho

Sustainable Seafood Delight with Peruvian Pepper Sauce by Leo of Charapa

Pescado a lo Macho, a traditional Peruvian seafood dish with squid and mussels in a spicy pepper sauce, garnished with herbs, accompanied by Charapa sauce jars and a lemon.
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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

Step-By-Step Photos

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  1. Season halibut (or chosen fish) with salt, pepper, and garlic, leaving skin on for crispiness.
  2. For the broth, boil celery, leek, onion, and garlic in water, or use store-bought vegetable or fish broth.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and cook the fish, skin side down, until golden.
  4. Blend 2 peeled tomatoes and ½ potato until smooth.
  5. In another pan, sauté ½ diced red onion and 4 minced garlic cloves in oil.
  6. Stir in 2 tablespoons of aji amarillo and 1 tablespoon of aji rocoto.
  7. Add the tomato-potato blend to the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix in broth and ~¼ cup white wine to achieve a marinara-like consistency.
  9. Add scallops, squid, shrimp, and clams; garnish with parsley and basil.
  10. Cover and cook until clams open.
  11. Serve the halibut topped with the seafood sauce.


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