Achik Chuchuk is a simple Uzbek tomato & pepper salad that is really quick and easy to make and is usually served with dishes such as Plov, Shashlik or Kazan kabob. Due to the abundance of vegetables grown in Uzbekistan, you will always find fresh salads served alongside hot dishes.
The herbs are always fresh, the tomatoes sweet and juicy, and the cucumber and green peppers add the perfect crunch. You can cut the ingredients however you like, some people cube them and some prefer to slice them, however, in the end, this combination of healthy herbs and veggies will always result in an amazing-tasting salad.
Achik Chuchuk Salad Variations
There are some variations of this salad and actually, it can get confused with another Uzbek salad commonly served with rice dishes called Shakarob or Shakarap. Shakarob is a sweet salad consisting of tomatoes, onions and parsley seasoned with salt. It doesn’t usually include peppers but can sometimes include cucumber. Achik Chuchuk salad can also include cucumber and in some variations, the pepper is replaced with cucumber. The important thing to remember is that when this salad uses green chilli peppers with onion it will be called ‘Achichuk‘ salad because ‘Achchik’ in the Uzbek language means ‘hot‘ or ‘spicy‘. So when the ingredients are not chilli or spicy, for example, you have used a non-chilli bell pepper or cucumber with tomato and onion, then you would call this salad ‘Achik Chuchuk‘. ‘Chuchuk’ means the opposite of chilli in Uzbek. I really hope that makes sense. 🙂
Usually, you would use a regular shallot or onion for this salad, but some variations will use fresh spring onions instead, on this occasion I have used both. The herbs for this salad can vary as well, fresh parsley, dill or coriander can be used and in some cases even mint and basil. Feel free to alter it to your preference.
How to Prepare the Onion for Achik Chuchuk Salad
Onion is consumed and enjoyed in abundance in Uzbek cuisine, but when you are serving them raw as a garnish or in a side salad, there’s an important step you must remember to complete. When you have peeled and sliced the onion, you must wash it and separate it with your fingers in some water that has been mixed with a little salt and vinegar. This process will take out the strong bitterness and add a little more flavour
Achik Chuchuk – Uzbek Tomato & Pepper Salad
- 2 Fresh Tomatoes
- 2 Fresh Green Peppers preferably a banana pepper, that is a long light green pepper
- 1 Asian Cucumber (if using) or ½ european cucumber
- 1 Shallot or Onion or you can use 3 spring onion strands if you prefer
- ½ cup Fresh chopped dill, Parsley or Coriander
- ⅓ tsp Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce and/or Vinegar optional
- Remove the core of the tomatoes, wash and slice.
- Wash and half the green pepper long ways (diagonally) deseed the halves and slice horizontally. Alternatively, you may dice or slice into rings without halving.
- Wash the cucumbers (if using), remove the ends and slice them as well.
- Peel and slice the onion and wash well in water, salt and vinegar mix.
- If you are using spring onion instead of onion, wash and chop small (removing the root end. I used both an onion and a few spring onions as well.
- Wash and thinly chop the herbs. I have used dill on this occasion.
- Place all the above-prepared ingredients into a suitable mixing bowl, mix well and season to taste.
- Serve straight away