How to Make Ají Amarillo Paste

One of the main ingredients in Peruvian cooking is ají amarillo paste. And I don´t mean store-bought paste, even though you can find this product in many markets and stores. Cooks (both professional and home cooks) all over the country make their own ají amarillo -or ají panca or mirasolpaste on an almost daily basis, as it is a part of most of their recipes. There are those who don´t like to peel the chili peppers; others don´t blanch them and use them raw. I recommend that you blanch them because the peels will give the food a coarse texture and make it more acidic. If you don´t like the heat of chili peppers, blanch the peppers up to three times, changing the water each time. This will make a mild ají amarillo paste, but will keep the beautiful color and delicious flavor of these chilies. Use this paste in any recipe that calls for ají amarillo paste, such as salsa huancaína, ají de gallina, and causa.

You can also add a pinch of salt to the creamy paste and serve it over cooked potatoes or fried yucca sticks. If you add chopped scallions, this is a great sauce for anticuchos.

Freeze this paste in ice cube trays, and keep them in plastic bags for up to three months.

1.- Start with ají amarillos, fresh from the market (or frozen if that’s all you can find).

2.- Cut them in half and discard the seeds and veins. To do this, protect your hands from the heat of the peppers with plastic gloves.

3.- Cook the peppers in simmering water for about 5 / 10 minutes.

4.- Drain the peppers and let them cool. Peel the ají -this is very easy to do, as you can see in the photo above.

5.- Transfer to the blender , add a couple tablespoons water or vegetable oil, and process until creamy.

Now you are ready to make most Peruvian recipes that call for this brightly colored and perfumed ingredient.


  1. I wish I could get my hands on some Aji peppers so I could make this. I love the flavor of these chiles.

    • Easy, very easy to grow. Can send some seeds if you pay shipping. Or, I can have a friend mail them to you when they retun to he states. I do not live in the US any more.

      • Thanks Lily. We have grown aji amarillo plants several times too. Delicious!

        • Wonderful! Nothing really can be substituted for this unique flavor…..

          • These peppers actually have three different dimensions. When green, they are crunchy, are moist and sweet; when they start turning light green, they switch to being mildly hot; and, when they turn orange (even though called yellow aji) they get their unique flavor and a bit extra heat. In a good location, these plants can grow 30″ to 36″ tall. All peppers are perennials and I have one plant that is four years old. Another great choice is manzano (purple flower and black seeds).

      • this is obviously a long shot but here goes. Are you by any chance still able to get seeds? I got some but they were bogies. id love to grow some 20 years since I was in Peru eating the real thing.

  2. Can you tell me the best way to do this if I’m using DRIED adi peppers?

  3. Can I get some seeds shipped to india?

  4. Has anyone tried using aji jarred in brine to make paste? Jarred is the only way I’ve found them sold around here. Nice part would be not having to cook them…they peel very easily!

  5. I just saw a YouTube video on making this and it called for one red and one yellow roasted pepper, some oil, and cayenne. Maybe it’s a decent substitute for the ahi peppers. I’m trying it tomorrow so we shall see. However I’ve only had this at a local Peruvian restaurant so I won’t know exactly sure how it compares to an authentic recipe.

  6. I love Peruvian peppers and i actually found this natural aji Amarillo pepper mash from the Magic Plant company . it come in a glass jar. very good flavor.

  7. If you’re using the paste in a recipe that calls for one pepper, how much paste equals one pepper?

  8. Where can I buy the Aji peppers or seeds in the SF Bay Area?
    I would love to also get my hands on some choclo.


  9. Muy buena la receta la prepare

  10. hi. in nyc there are a number of good Peruvian restaurants, but we like to cook at home.
    all the aji amarillo paste that I have seen has preservatives. I’ve yet to find fresh or dried in the markets.
    Is there a recipe to make aji amarillo paste from aji amarillo powder, as that is easier to find in nyc.


  1. […] is Aji Amarillo paste? Blended Aji Amarillo peppers!  Well, there is a little bit of a process to it, but peppers are the only ingredient. In the class, this sauce is served with fried […]

  2. […] but always contains garlic, chilli peppers and coriander. The most popular kind in carapulcra is aji amarillo but I was fresh out of that I’m afraid so I’ve insulted a load of Peruvians and adapted […]

  3. […] chicken comes with a big green salad, beans and aji amarillo, which is made here with a mix of mayonnaise, strong tangy mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and spices […]

  4. […] seeded and processed all these peppers into some Aji Amarillo Paste. The peppers are boiled in water to soften them and get some of the heat out before they are […]

  5. […] this dish you can use huancaina sauce, if you have some, instead of aji amarillo paste, and it will be risotto a la huancaina . The flavor of aji should be nice and fragrant without […]

  6. […] are lucky enough to have fresh ají amarillo,you can learn how to make the paste for this sauce here . Otherwise buy it processed or frozen online or in any grocery store that carries Latin American […]

  7. […] cream of avocado, mayo, and lime juice. Or serve them with salsa Golf (mayo with ketchup), with aji amarillo sauce, or salsa […]

  8. […] that combine perfectly well with guacamole and other delicious salsas and creams like our beloved aji amarillo sauce, huancaina sauce and / or refried beans. If you don´t want to bother with chimichurri add some […]

  9. […] until very tender but not brown. To these ingredients you can add some chili pepper paste (aji amarillo paste, aji panca, aji mirasol or make it green by adding cilantro). Which aderezo you use will depend on […]

  10. […] rice, flavored with cilantro, spinach, aji amarillo paste (yellow chili peppers), and cooked with a mix of vegetables, is one of my favorite Peruvian dishes. […]

  11. […] do add the paste, reduce the amount of jalapenos used. It brings added depth of flavor and heat. Here is a recipe for homemade Aji Amarillo […]

  12. […] seeded and processed all these peppers into some Aji Amarillo Paste. The peppers are boiled in water to soften them and get some of the heat out before they are […]

Speak Your Mind