How to Make Spicy and Versatile Aji Amarillo Sauce

Aji Amarillo chile peppers
Chasqui/Flickr
Ratings (35)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 3/4 cup (serves 8 - 10)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
104 Calories
10g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3/4 cup (serves 8 - 10)
Amount per serving
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 152mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 35mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This versatile, spicy yellow sauce is the perfect accompaniment to roasted chicken, vegetables, french fries, and fried yuca. The star ingredient is the Aji Amarillo chili pepper, a staple in Peruvian cooking. Recipes vary from region to region, and the most authentic recipes do not contain mayonnaise, as this one does.

Look for jarred aji Amarillo paste in a Latin food market. If you can't find the paste, you can use frozen Aji Amarillo peppers. Thaw and dice one pepper and saute it in olive oil until it's soft. Add the cooked pepper to the rest of the sauce ingredients and process.

Ingredients

  • 2 green onions, white and green parts (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons aji, paste or one aji Amarillo pepper, chopped and sauteed in oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco, ricotta or feta
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Put the chopped onions; Aji Amarillo paste or sauteed pepper; mayonnaise; sour cream, queso fresco, ricotta or feta cheese; ketchup; and lime juice into a food processor or blender.

  2. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

  3. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and chill until ready to serve.

Tip

  • This flavor of this sauce improves after 24 hours in the refrigerator. You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe Variations

  • Peruvians make two kinds of aji (chili) sauce — green and yellow. The sauce made with Aji Amarillo as above is the yellow sauce. Green Aji sauce substitutes jalapenos for Aji Amarillo and adds cilantro for spice.
  • Garlic is also commonly an ingredient in both types of aji sauce. Use to taste.
  • Huacatay, called Peruvian black mint, is also often part of the recipe for yellow aji sauce.

How to Use Aji Amarillo Sauce

In Peruvian cooking, Aji Amarillo sauce is a basic ingredient. This hot and spicy but cheesy and creamy combo is used in Peru as a dipping sauce for french fries, roasted chicken, baby potatoes and fried plantains. It's also used as a dipping sauce for Peru's trademark dish, ceviche, and as a sauce over cooked potatoes and chicken, beef and fish. The sauce turns common dishes with mild flavors like these into meals with personality.

In the U.S., it serves as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers, chicken wings, onion rings, waffle fries, sweet potato fries, tater tots, potato chips, hot pretzels, pita bread, broccoli or cauliflower.