This paleo and vegan Trinidadian Citrus Chow is a pickled, spicy orange salad that’s also sweet, salty, tangy and delicious. Made with fresh herbs and fruits, it’s an AIP-friendly, easy snack to make with oranges.
“Chow” is a popular snack in Trinidad & Tobago and is a type of spiced fruit salad. Chow can be made from many different fresh local fruits, which are then seasoned in an herbaceous, acidic marinade. The result is a sweet and spicy, tart fruit salad, similar to a salsa.
I have fond childhood memories of buying chow from my school cafeteria. The cool burn from the spice was deliciously refreshing. It was salty and sweet, and I’d eat it straight from a plastic bag, licking the juices as they ran down my hands!
This Trinidadian Citrus Chow is inspired by a traditional Trini chow made with portugals, a type of mandarin orange. In this recipe, oranges are mixed with peppers and garlic in a chadon beni-lime sauce. These vegan and paleo spicy pickled oranges can easily be AIP-compliant by omitting the hot peppers.
It’s a bright, colorful and aromatic orange fruit salad that’s bursting with flavor and is so quick and easy to make!
ingredients to make this citrus chow recipe
- oranges – choose any variety, I used navel and blood oranges. The oranges’ natural sweetness is perfectly balanced with the complementary flavors and makes this citrus chow a great orange fruit snack without added sugar.
- chadon beni/culantro – a staple of chow recipes. I highly recommend using this sharp, aromatic herb if you can find it, for an authentic Trini flavor. It tastes similar to cilantro but is more potent. If substituting with cilantro, use both leaves and stems.
- garlic – this dish requires fresh garlic. Don’t substitute with garlic powder or garlic salt.
- sea salt – adds some brininess and highlights the other flavors in this dish.
- lime juice – best to use freshly squeezed limes. The acidic lime juice contributes its zippy tartness. You can substitute with lemon juice.
- habanero or scotch bonnet pepper – for a slightly sweet, spicy heat. Omit for AIP or if it’s your preference. While the heat intensifies the flavor, you can omit the peppers and still have a juicy, herbaceous and flavorful fruit salad.
how to make trinidadian citrus chow with oranges:
This Trini Orange Chow is so easy and quick to make; it’s ready in just 10 minutes!
Step 1: Prep the seasonings
Chop culantro/cilantro, crush garlic, juice lime, seed and mince pepper.
Step 2: Peel oranges and cut into slices
Step 3: Combine ingredients and mix well
tips for making mouthwatering trinidadian fruit chow
- The longer the chow marinates, the more flavorful it will be!
- Letting the fruit soak in the seasonings allows it to fully absorb all of the flavors.
- Cover the bowl or put in a resealable container and shake thoroughly to let ingredients fully intermingle.
- You can marinate it at room temperature or keep covered in the fridge for a cool and refreshing snack.
- Customize this recipe and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Try this recipe with other fruit like half-ripe mangoes, ripe pineapples, grapes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes or cucumbers. Or, make a mixed chow with a combination of different fruits with varying levels of tartness and sweetness.
- A great chow combines sweet, sour, spicy and tangy. That said, you can use more or less of ingredients to suit your taste.
- Safety Tip: Use caution when handling hot peppers. Do not touch your face while handling. Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
how to serve these trinidadian spiced oranges
- As a flavorful fruit treat – Chow is most commonly served as a snack. Make a double batch so that you always have a quick and delicious, paleo and AIP-friendly fruit snack on hand.
- As an appetizer – Cut orange slices into quarters or smaller and stick with toothpicks for easy serving.
- For breakfast – with greens and some protein like these Egg-free Paleo Breakfast Meatballs or these AIP Cod Fritters.
- As a nightshade-free salsa alternative for Chicken or Fish Tacos. As a topping, cut orange slices into quarters or smaller wedges to fit in taco.
- As a spicy fruit salad side with mains like Mango Lime BBQ Chicken or Caribbean Fish and Chips with Tamarind Sauce.
Orange Chow FAQs
Where can I find culantro?
Chadon beni/culantro is known by many other names including recao and spiny cilantro. Look for it at Caribbean, Latin American or Asian markets/food stores.
In Toronto, I get mine at Caribbean Corner in Kensington Market.
I’m not a fan of hot chilis. Can I omit the peppers from this Chow?
Yes, you can absolutely omit them if that’s your preference, or if you’re following the AIP diet. You’ll still have a delicious, brightly seasoned fruit salad!
Can I substitute any other ingredients?
Refer to the Ingredients section of the post for my recommendations.
How to store this citrus chow?
Refrigerate in a food storage container for up to 5 days. I’d recommend a glass container so the garlic doesn’t infuse into the container.
can i freeze this spiced orange salad?
Chow isn’t meant to be frozen and is best enjoyed fresh or from the fridge.
You’ll love these other easy, AIP/Paleo snacks:
- Sweet Baked Plantains with Bacon
- Crispy Smashed Broccoli
- Gluten-Free Pizza Rolls
- Paleo Honey Garlic Meatballs
Try other Caribbean-inspired AIP/paleo fare:
- AIP Salted Cod in Coconut Milk
- AIP Beef Patties
- Caribbean-inspired Beef Soup
- AIP Trinidadian Callaloo
- Trinidadian Sorrel
More AIP/Paleo Citrusy Treats:
- Avocado Grapefruit Salad
- Grilled Asparagus with Orange
- Paleo Watermelon Mojito Mocktail
- Honey Brûléed Grapefruit
If you loved this Trinidadian Citrus Chow I would appreciate it if you would give it a rating and review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious and using the hashtag #healmedelicious.Print
Trinidadian Citrus Chow
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This paleo and vegan Trinidadian Citrus Chow is a pickled, spicy orange salad that’s also sweet and sour, salty, tangy and delicious. Made with fresh herbs and fruits, it’s an AIP-friendly, bright and refreshing, easy snack to make with oranges.
- 6 small oranges (any variety)
- 1/4 cup culantro/cilantro (leaves and stems), finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 TBSP lime juice
- 1/2 tsp seeded and finely minced scotch bonnet or habanero pepper* (Omit for AIP)
- Using a sharp knife, cut off each end of the oranges and remove skin on all sides. Once skin is remove, place orange on its side and cut into slices 1/4-inch thick.
- To a bowl, add orange slices, culantro/cilantro, garlic, sea salt, lime juice, and minced pepper*. Mix well.
- Serve immediately or cover and let marinate at room temperature or in fridge to serve later.
*Be careful when handling the peppers. While handling, do not touch face or eyes. Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Snack
- Method: Assembled
- Cuisine: Trinidadian/Caribbean
Keywords: trinidadian orange chow, trini citrus chow, trini chow, spicy fruit salad, seasoned fruit salad, spicy pickled oranges, easy snack, paleo, vegan, AIP option, gluten-free, dairy-free
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