Salchipapas Is The Perfect Street Food For Potato Lovers

Step aside, poutine — there's a new French fry sheriff in town, and his name is "salchipapas." This dish is essentially a basket of fries and sliced-up hot dogs topped with a variety of sauces. Salchipapas can also be made with sliced beef sausages. Common sauce contenders include ketchup, mustard, and ají amarillo sauce, but the choices are really up to your imagination. Umami-forward Kewpie mayo, anyone? Plus, you can make salchipapas at home in a snap using a bag of frozen fries tossed into the oven on a baking sheet. (Bonus points if you make your own French fries from scratch.)

Salchipapas is a Latin American street food, and its name is a fusion of the Spanish words "salchi" (sausage) and "papas" (potatoes). We understand the street food hype too, as salchipapas is both hearty and ultra-portable. It can easily be enjoyed without utensils and served straight out of a takeout box or on a paper plate, sans mess. Its low-maintenance ingredient lineup makes salchipapas simple to make in large batches in an aluminum foil pan and bring to a tailgate on game day. The French fry hot dog combo succinctly represents the duality of man as both a killer bar snack and the ultimate hangover cure. Plus, a plate of salchipapas is kid-friendly and will satisfy picky eaters for a low-key movie night snack. In short, there's a reason why salchipapas has captured the attention of foodies all around the world.

Accessible Latin fare with a global fanbase

You might think of hot dogs as an American thing, but Latin America is holding down the hot dog front in a big way. Salchipapas is thought to have been created in Lima, Peru, where the dish has emerged as one of the most prominent street foods folks are ordering today. You can find it served in Peruvian soccer stadiums as a concession, but it's best known as a street food staple in South American countries including Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia, with a kaleidoscope of slight regional variations cropping up across the continent.

Salchipapas diehards stretch far beyond the Southern Hemisphere. Gold Sounds, a rock and roll bar and venue in Bushwick, Brooklyn, even serves a vegan version made with plant-based hot dogs and tater tots instead of fries. Salchipapas itself could be a showcase of global culinary flair depending on the sauces you choose to top it with. Take a trip around the globe and try using Mexican salsa verde or creamy cilantro lime aioli, Alabama barbecue sauce, Japanese Yum Yum sauce, bright green fresh Argentinian chimichurri, or Thai chili garlic sauce. You could even switch up the meat and use Spanish chorizo instead of hot dogs.

Get a little saucy, we dare you

Making salchipapas is as simple as baking some French fries in the oven, pan-searing hot dog slices in oil, and combining. As a convenient time-saver, you can cook the hot dogs while the fries are crisping up. But, that's just the beginning — salchipapas is something of a blank canvas ready for your customization. You could drizzle mustard on one diagonal, then cross-hatch ketchup on the opposite diagonal for an aesthetically pleasing presentation. For added pizazz, slice the hot dogs or sausages on the diagonal, too.

Feel free to employ a little gastronomic liberty with the toppings. This could mean a fried egg, shredded cheese, crumbled queso fresco, sliced red onion, fried onion frizzles, or chopped scallions — it's all fair game. For extra Peruvian flair, top your salchipapas with authentic ají amarillo. If you've never tried it before, this sauce is a staple of Peruvian cooking made from peppers, lime juice, green onion, and queso fresco. Ají amarillo is often paired with roasted chicken or fried yuca, but why not add the same spicy yet creamy elevation to your salchipapas? Alternatively, whatever sauces you select can be served in small individual cups on the side for dipping rather than drizzling across the top of the dish.