May 27, 2021 3 min read

There are hundreds of peppers around the world that you can try, but none of them will leave a mark on your heart like yellow pepper (aji Amarillo). A true emblem of an international icon, this kind of pepper original from Peru is actually considered the most important type of chili pepper in Peruvian gastronomy, and one of the most popular ingredients used for various traditional and modern recipes.

This fruit belongs to the Capsicum baccatum family and to the pendulum variety. Originally from Peru, its use in this region dates from the year 8,500 BC, it measures between about 10 to 15 centimeters, conical in shape, about 2 centimeters thick, is elongated and green when it is growing, then it turns yellow, hence the name, and when ripe it is orange in color, it has a somewhat sweet taste, very fruity, it is not very spicy, nor is it scorching, its heat only reaches up to 15,000 SHU on the Scoville scale.

In many Latin American countries, it is a fresh product that is easy to find in every market. In other countries, it is more difficult to find it like this, but it is common to find a jar of Aji Amarillo paste or dehydrated yellow pepper.

Those who enjoy spicy flavors will find an ideal condiment in the aji Amarillo sauce of Peruvian cuisine with which to enhance the flavor of many dishes, as long as it is not overused.

With this aji sauce, you can make vinaigrettes or use them as a base for making other sauces. It will also spice up a meat dish or fish, some potatoes and why not, as a topping for a sandwich or toast. You have plenty of possibilities using the aji Amarillo sauce for your special dishes.

Cooks across Peru make their own aji Amarillo sauces almost daily, as they are part of almost every recipe. Some do not like the spiciness of the peppers. Others love it and use their raw chili peppers to make them more potent.

It is recommended that you blanch them first and then peel them (because the rind gives a slightly rough texture and a sour taste to the pasta). If you are looking for the color and flavor of the chili, but without the spice, you have to blanch it three times by changing the water each time it boils. This will result in a very mild aji sauce, but with the beautiful color and perfume that is characteristic of it.

This sauce freezes wonderfully in ice cubes. When they are hard, transfer them to bags and close well. Keep for up to three months. It's the best thing you can have in your freezer ready to use in any recipe.

How to make the Aji Amarillo sauce?

To make the fresh aji sauce it is necessary to follow a few simple steps that we will show you below, but you can also vary the recipe by adding sautéed or roasted garlic. As always, each cook can give it their own touch.

  1.  To start buying fresh peppers in the market. If there are only frozen ones, you can use them perfectly.
  2.    Cut them in half lengthwise and discard seeds and veins.
  3.  Cook the peppers in hot but not boiling water for about 5 - 10 minutes, changing the water three times.
  4.  Drain and cool. Peel the peppers, it is easy because the skin comes off on its own.
  5.  Put all the peppers in the blender, add a couple of tablespoons of water or oil, some salt, and process until they are very creamy. And that's it! You already have a championship aji Amarillo sauce.

Now you are ready to make most of the Peruvian recipes that call for the vibrant color and delicious flavor of this ingredient.