Aji Mirasol is a sun-dried chili pepper with a unique flavor and intensity. It’s less floral and citric than fresh chili peppers, and has a more complex and concentrated taste.
The best thing about it is that the drying process makes it lightweight and gives it a long shelf life, keeping its piquancy for many long months. Before using, this chili pepper needs to be seeded and deveined, toasted, and then rehydrated in hot water and blanched three times, changing the water each time, to reduce its heat.
Process it in the blender to make a paste, using a little water or vegetable oil, and store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator, or freeze in an ice cube tray and use as needed.
This ingredient gives a wonderful earthy flavor to soups and stews such as capchi (a stew made with potatoes, cheese, milk, and herbs), or ocopa, among many others. Some people also deep-fry the whole chili until golden, and serve it over beans or other dishes like tacu tacu or chupes (Andean chowders), eating them with seeds and all. You may be surprised by how much you like the fried, crunchy, spicy combination, but unless you have a tongue of steel, if you’re ever served a whole aji mirasol we recommend you eat it with caution.