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Chilean Merkén and Garlic Sauce Recipe
Chilean Merkén and Garlic Sauce Recipe

A very popular and versatile Merkén sauce for spreading that we inherited from our grandmothers, which serves as an accompaniment to almost any meal, from a sandwich to boiled potatoes or roasted lamb, blending two very typical Chilean ingredients, Mapuche Merkén and Chilote garlic.

How to make Merkén and Garlic Sauce?

As in many recipes of Chilean cuisine that use few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients is essential, especially when choosing Merkén, which should be naturally smoked and contain coriander seeds.

Nutritional Information

Category: Sauces
Cuisine: Chilean
Calories: 200
Preparation: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Chilote Garlic and Merkén Sauce recipe


  • 25 g of Merkén
  • 6 Chilote garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Crush the garlic cloves in a mortar of good size until you get a pasty consistency without forming a cream. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized clay container, add the crushed garlic, Merkén, and add a little boiled water just to cover.
  3. Add the oil, apple cider vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir the mixture to combine all the ingredients. Let it rest for about 15 minutes to integrate aromas and flavors, taste and adjust seasoning or consistency if necessary.
  4. Serve the Chilote garlic and Merkén sauce immediately with your favorite dishes, all kinds of meats, vegetables, or salads. Keep refrigerated.

Characteristics of Chilote garlic

  • The main characteristics of Chilote garlic include the fact that it forms a large-sized plant with wide and thick leaves, and the bulb reaches a diameter of 8 to 10 centimeters, composed of four to six peripheral cloves.
  • The outer tunics are white and break easily, especially when harvesting is delayed, while the tunic that encases the clove is ivory in color.

Did you know?

The cultivation of garlic was introduced to America by the Spanish during the colonial period, but only in Chiloé did it evolve into what we now also know as “elephant garlic,” a product of remarkable proportions that absorbed all the magical properties of the southern Chilean island.


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