Oca Con Salsa Picante Recipe

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Photo by Rob Cardillo
This Oca con Salsa Picante Recipe is a tasty Peruvian appetizer.
Cook oca tubers 20-25 minutes. COOK TIME
6 to 8 servings SERVINGS


  • This Oca Con Salsa Picante Recipe uses oca and shrimp as its main ingredients. Oca tubers come in many sizes and colors and can be found in markets that specialize in obscure Latin American ingredients.

    This appetizer from Peru is both delicious and easy to make. For spicing, Peruvians prefer to use their indigenous aji escabeche (ceviche pepper), an ancient variety with huge flavor and controlled heat. But because it’s almost impossible to find in the United States, I opted for jalapeño. You can add more heat if you like: Oca can take it. And by the way, if you can’t find oca, you can always use waxy potatoes chopped into 1-inch segments. Not quite the same, but the salsa will work for both.

    Oca Con Salsa Picante Recipe

    Oca/Shrimp Mixture

    3 pounds oca tubers
    1/4 cup cold dry white wine
    1 pound fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
    1 tbsp flour (optional)
    1 tbsp butter
    1 tbsp olive oil

    Salsa Dressing

    Coarsely puree the following; adjust seasonings to taste:
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp sugar, or more to taste
    2 cups chopped cilantro, leaves only
    2 tbsp minced shallot
    2 tsp minced garlic
    2 tbsp finely chopped jalapeño pepper, or more heat to taste
    3 tbsp lime juice
    7 tbsp olive oil


  • Steam tubers in a tightly covered container over high heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the oca is cooked “al dente” (oca cooks quickly and can easily become mushy; overcooking will cause most varieties to lose their bright color or turn transparent).
  • Remove from heat and pour into a large work bowl. Toss with cold wine and cover. Set aside to cool.
  • While the oca is cooking, shell and devein the shrimp, then dust lightly with flour (optional).
  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the shrimp until lightly golden. Remove from heat, lift out with a slotted spoon and combine with the steamed oca.
  • Once the oca and shrimp cool to room temperature, add the dressing. Stir well and let stand for 10 minutes, then serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
    Read more about growing oca in the garden: How to Grow Oca.

This Oca Con Salsa Picante Recipe features shrimp and oca spiced with jalepeno pepper. Oca is a highly productive perennial plant with waxy, brightly colored tubers that are relatively pest-free in Northern America.