July 16, 2023 5 min read

Huancaina sauce can be found frequently on all Peruvian tables and it should be noted that each cook has their own recipe, sometimes adding onions and garlic. This sauce can be used in many delicious dishes.

This delicious sauce is made with yellow pepper with milk, oil, fresh cheese, and salt. It is generally served with boiled potatoes accompanied by a hard-boiled egg, a couple of black olives and it is presented on lettuce leaves. It is also common to serve it as an accompanying sauce for pasta and the classic Peruvian sancochado.

The easiest thing about this recipe is that you can use yellow chili paste that is easy to find outside of Peru, both online and in supermarkets where they sell Latin American products, so you can prepare the sauce in the blink of an eye.

Potatoes a la huancaina is one of the most representative dishes of Peruvian cuisine. Along with ceviche, it is one of the most popular and traditional recipes that has been passed down from generation to generation. Read on and learn how to prepare this delicious huancaina sauce.

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Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 Ají Amarillos (or 1/2 cup Ají Amarillo paste)
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetal oil
  • 5 saltine crackers
  • 8 oz. Fresh cheese unsalted
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Put the yellow chili paste in the blender. It was originally prepared with a batan (the stone) and had a thicker texture.
  • Add the milk and process until very smooth.
  • Add the fresh cheese, crackers, and salt. Process until creamy.

You can serve the huancaina sauce with quail eggs and watercress, with pasta, risotto, potatoes, with fried yucca, potato chips or tortilla, tequeños, rice with vegetarian chicken, or with any other recipe that you like. However, there are some tips that could help you improve the preparation of this sauce.

1.Use Fresh White Cheese

Fresh cheeses are those in which the production consists of curdling and dehydrating the milk. Additional preservation techniques are not applied to these cheeses, so they have a shorter expiration time. But the reason for its consumption lies in the exquisiteness of its flavour.

The fact of processing the milk to a lesser extent makes them have mild flavors and not very consistent textures. Due to these characteristics, it is the favorite cheese to be used as ingredients for the preparation of the huancaina sauce.

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2.Onions

Sauté onions used in the huancaina sauce are one of the most popular techniques in the kitchen, it is desirable to properly handle the technique of the sauté to master the temperature and prevent excessive boiling oil that "fries" the onion and can damage the texture and flavor of the sauce.

3.Garlic

The main difference of this recipe from others is that it uses sautéed onions and garlic along with the yellow pepper which gives an extra layer of flavor and a slightly different texture to the sauce.

To avoid losing its properties, the less cooked the garlic suffers, the better and it is recommended that it always be used fresh. In case you want to save time, buy the one that is peeled but whole because garlic changes its flavor completely when it is minced.

4.Batan

It is said that Mother Teresa made the huancaina sauce in a fulling mill (batan), curiously she used one that the chef Humberto Sato himself gave her. The process of using this utensil instead of the blender is longer but more enjoyable. When made with a blender, sometimes it doesn't have the traditional texture.

She placed the fried yellow pepper in the batan and then added the cheese to give it texture. She moved a little the mixture and then placed it in a bowl where she added an egg yolk and a little milk, oil, and salt.

The preparation is not complicated, at least not now that the blender seems to have solved the problems of many. However, doing it in fulling, in the old fashioned way, is a whole ceremony loaded with an even more homemade plus.

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5.Ají Amarillo

To achieve the best preparation of the huancaina sauce in case of using the natural yellow pepper, you should sauté a part with the garlic and onion for 30 seconds, no more, ensuring that they are without veins or seeds.

Then put this in a blender to which you previously added the other half of the yellow peppers, raw, without seeds but with veins, so that it's a little bit spicy. Then you can add two cooked egg yolks, blend again and that's it, you got the traditional huancaina sauce!

Our Huancaina Sauce is made from fresh Peruvian peppers that are dried and cured in our smokehouse. This recipe is the perfect way to take advantage of the rich flavors that only Peruvian cooking can offer. We'll also show you how to make it at home.

Ensure the garlic cloves are not too old, fresh, and firm. They will have a bitter taste if they are old, and if they are too new, they will be too soft to crush.
Before making our Huancaina Sauce, we must get our ingredients ready. To ensure the garlic cloves are not too old, we will check them with our fingers.

Then we'll use the tip of a knife to mash the cloves and separate them from the skin. The garlic should look white and smooth. If it's too old, the cloves will have a yellowish colour and a mushy texture. Also, we will place the peeled cloves in cold water to stay fresher.

Once we've prepared the garlic cloves, we'll add them to our food processor, the onion, and the spices. We will mix them well with a wooden spoon to ensure they are evenly distributed. Now we will put the garlic in the food processor as well. If we add too much salt to our food processor, we can add it later. Next, we'll turn the machine on and press the ingredients into a paste. Finally, we will add some water until we have a good consistency.

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Next, we will strain out the spices from the garlic paste. This step can be done with the back of a spoon or a strainer. Then we will add the vinegar. We will stir the mixture well until we have a creamy consistency. We'll leave the sauce to rest for 30 minutes before serving it.

My mom created this recipe. She loves to cook and was so happy when I learned how to make the traditional sauce. The only ingredient we use is rice vinegar. It is perfect for our rice dishes. I like this sauce because it tastes delicious and has a pleasant aroma.

It can be served with rice, steamed fish, fried meat or chicken, fried shrimp, vegetable dishes, pork dishes, etc.

You can try adding different spices to the sauce, such as turmeric, chili powder, black pepper, etc. It can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.