February 25, 2021

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.

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 flavor.

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.

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.

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!