Ocopa Sauce

Ocopa is a traditional dish from Arequipa that has black mint -or huacatay- as its main ingredient. Ocopa is very similar to papa a la huancaína, but with added peanuts and huacatay, which completely change the flavor. In some places they still make the sauce with a stone mortar. Imagine all the extra work of turning those ingredients into a sauce just by the power of the stone and your own force! It’s well worth the effort though; connoisseurs believe this technique actually improves the taste and texture. We trust them, but we like to be practical too, so here you go with a simpler blender-friendly preparation. Serve it with boiled potatoes or with fried yucca sticks.

Thanks to celebrity chef Flavio Solorzano -owner of El Senorio de Sulco– who gave us permission to post his recipe for this delectable sauce.

Ocopa Sauce
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 55 mins
  • **Sauce:
  • 4 oz Mirasol chili pepper (or 3 tablespoons of Mirasol chili pepper paste)
  • 2 tablespoons Ají Amarillo (or 2 tablespoons Ají Amarillo paste)
  • 6 oz onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 oz peanut, toasted
  • 2 oz nuts, toasted
  • Huacatay leaves (black mint/optional), or 1 teaspoon huacatay paste
  • 6 soda crackers
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup queso fresco (white cheese, diced)
  • Salt
  • **To serve:
  • 1 lb Peruvian yellow potatoes, boiled and peeled, and sliced (or any potatoes, if you can't find yellow)
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 10 black olives
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, in quarters or slices
  • ½ cup queso fresco (white cheese) finely diced
  • Salt
  1. **To make the sauce:
  2. Roast the onion and garlic in a clean saucepan. Reserve.
  3. Boil the ají Mirasol, changing the water three times. Peel and discard the seeds.
  4. In a blender process chili peppers, garlic, onion, peanuts, nuts, milks, queso fresco, soda crackers, huacatay leaves or paste. Season with salt.
  5. **To serve:
  6. In a dish put lettuce leaves, potato slices, cover with the sauce, and decorate with hard-boiled eggs, white cheese, black olives.


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