Easy Siboyo Tempera Recipe from Aruba

This super-easy siboyo tempera recipe is sure to become your summer go-to when looking for a delicious accompaniment for grilled chicken, steak or seafood. Made of slivered marinated onions and Madame Jeanette hot peppers (known as Madame Janette peppers in Aruba), this sauce is incredibly versatile and offers the perfect combination of heat and sweetness that works with every dish from breakfast to late night snacks. And best of all, it stays fresh in the fridge for several days — assuming of course, it doesn’t disappear in one day it’s so good.

Siboyo Tempera is a Popular Side Dish or Condiment in Aruba

Jojoli overwater villa at The Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas Aruba

My dreamy “Jojoli” overwater bungalow at The Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas Aruba

I first discovered this classic Aruban dish during a welcome dinner at the Old Man and the Sea Ocean  Villas in the fishing village of Savaneta on the Caribbean island of Aruba. It was a side dish tucked on the table without much fanfare beside our plates of keshi yena, a ground beef dish that’s also a traditional dish on Aruba. Although I was momentarily distracted by the stunning sunset shape-shifting over the blue Caribbean water, it didn’t take long before I got to wondering what it was that the locals at our dinner table were spooning on their food with so much enthusiasm.

Individual keshi yena at Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas

Individual keshi yena at Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas

A Siboyo Tempera Recipe from Aruba

Similar to escabeche, a dish popular in Latin America, siboyo tempera is made of marinated onions and hot peppers. The beauty of this dish is that the onions are soaked in water which reduces their bite and the  heat is delivered by the slivers of Madame Jeanette pepper rather than jalapenos. For those of you who think cilantro tastes like soap, you’ll be happy to hear that authentic siboyo tempera contains no cilantro.

siboya tempera authentic aruba recipe

siboya tempera is a popular side dish and sauce in Aruba

Hot Peppers are Key to Authentic Siboyo Tempera

The Madame Jeanette pepper hails from Suriname and is the key ingredient in many West Indian salsas. Given how close Aruba is to South America it makes perfect sense that this pepper is popular in Aruba. Despite her dainty-sounding name, Madame Jeanette is a fiery hot  pepper. On the Scoville Pepper Index it clocks in between 200,000 to 300,000 heat units which puts in on par with habanero. But rather than being simply scorching hot, Madame Jeanette has a sweetness that makes it especially delicious. Make sure you wear gloves when working with her.

Madame Jeanette peppers are a type of hot pepper from Suriname that are popular in Aruba

Madame Jeanette peppers are a type of hot pepper from Suriname that are popular in Aruba

Where to Try Siboyo Tempera in Aruba

This particular siboyo tempera recipe comes from Chef Annelotte Ellis, a talented Aruban chef who has built a stellar reputation on her innovative use of local ingredients, passion for Aruban culinary traditions and culinary skills. If you have an opportunity to sample one of her dishes, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime. You can often find her creating something delicious at Aruba Ocean Villas or her new restaurant Delicious. You can also find siboyo tempera at Zeerovers, a popular seafood restaurant set right on the waterfront in Savaneta

Chef Annelotte at Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas Aruba

Chef Annelotte whipping up dinner at Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas Aruba

Try this recipe for siboyo tempera this summer!

5 from 1 vote
authentic recipe for Aruba siboya tempera
Siboyo Tempera Aruba Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
A marinated onion and hot pepper sauce ideal for topping fresh fish, chicken or grilled meats.
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Aruba
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Michele Peterson
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar or less to taste
  • 2 large red or white onions
  • 1 Madame Jeanette hot pepper or Scotch Bonnet
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel and slice onions very thinly
  2. Crush clove of garlic
  3. Remove seeds and slice Madame Jeanette pepper crosswide ( wear gloves)
  4. Mix water, vinegar and sugar in saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar
  5. Remove water mixture from heat and pour into glass bowl
  6. Add sliced onions, garlic and hot pepper to water
  7. Cool in refrigerator

Travel Planner

Aruba Tourism Authority: Get maps, travel advice and other valuable resources on the official Aruba Tourism Authority website. www.aruba.com

Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas: This collection of boho-chic bungalows and villas located in Savaneta are the only overwater villas and beach bungalows in Aruba. Stay overnight and swim in shallow water, watch heron diving for fish and enjoy fabulous cuisine prepared by Chef Annelotte Ellis for breakfast and dinner. Rates begin at $250 USD per night. Visit the Old Man and the Sea Ocean Villas online or Email: info@arubaoceanvillas.com

Interested in more delicious recipes, travel tips and information about travel to Aruba? Check out these posts:

Beer and Balsamic Marinade for BBQ Steak

Renaissance Private Island: A Top Luxury Experience in Aruba

6 Girlfriend Getaways You’ll Love 

Finding Vegan Heaven at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort 

Diving into Dutch Tapas at Cafe 080 Restaurant Bar on Aruba 

an authentic recipe for siboyo tempera from Aruba - ideal for topping chicken or seafood

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Michele Peterson
Michele Peterson
Dividing her time between Toronto, Mexico and Guatemala (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is an award-winning writer, blogger, editor and publisher who specializes in travel, cuisine and luxury lifestyles.
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Showing 4 comments
  • Culture Tripper

    My son will really enjoy this sauce/condiment, I’ll try it the next time we grill. I’m sure I’ve seen the Madame Jeanette peppers here, thanks for posting the photo of them. Loved all your pics. Aruban cuisine looks enticing, as does that overwater bungalow!

  • Pat. C.

    Siboyo tempera Aruba sauce looks like a very easy way to add Aruba flavour to any boring bbq, I’d like to try it on fish. I haven’t made it to Aruba yet but the food and the villas both look great.

  • Catherine Fowler

    I really enjoyed the article on Siboyo Tempera Aruba Recipe. Can you buy those peppers in Canada?
    The Sea Ocean Villas look beautiful. Is the diving good around Aruba? I am looking forward to trying the recipe.

    • Michele Peterson

      Thanks for visiting Cathy! I haven’t seen Madam Janette peppers in Canada but used Scotch Bonnet as a substitute and still enjoyed the recipe. The snorkelling is very good around Aruba — we saw many huge parrot fish — but I’m not sure about the diving. Bonaire is fantastic though and its quite nearby so I’m guessing it is should be good.

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