How to Make Ají Amarillo Paste

Ají amarillo paste. jpgOne 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.

How to make ají amarillo paste. jpg

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

How to make aji amarillo paste. jpg

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.

How to make aji amarillo paste. jpg

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

How to make aji amarillo paste. jpg

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.

How to make aji amarillo paste. jpg

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.

 

Comments

  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.

      • Peru Delights says:

        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).

  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. Victoria says:

    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. http://www.magicplantshop.com

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

  8. Peruvian_fan says:

    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.

    thanks

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