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South American Recipes: Chilean Paila Marina


We were wandering through the streets of La Serena, Chile hungry but unable to tear ourselves from the scenery or decide on a restaurant. Fortunately, as often happens in Chile, eager employees make that choice for you. Many times, you’ll see them in front of the restaurants, beckoning you to enjoy lunch with them and sometimes, even offering a little pisco sour reward! While walking through a central market, my husband and I received just such an offer and decided to leave our lunch choice in the hands of the kind woman who led us to an upstairs balcony overlooking the town. Perfect. What came next was even better.

Something you find almost everywhere in Chile and especially in restaurant stalls of fish markets is a little soup wonder called Paila Marina. “Paila” describes the earthenware bowl in which the soup comes. “Marina” describes all of the delicious bits of Marine life in it. The soup basically consists of any kind of fish you like, with some herbs and spices. It’s a medley of surprises always. It’s the perfect, impossible to mess up soup to add to your recipe box for those colder nights.

Here’s a great recipe from Chilean recipes.