Aji Amarillo Paste in recipes

Aji Amarillo paste is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique and authentic flavor to various recipes. Originating from Peru, this vibrant yellow chili pepper paste has gained popularity worldwide for its distinct taste and ability to enhance a wide range of dishes. In this article, we will explore the uses, benefits, and delicious recipes that incorporate Aji Amarillo paste.

What is Aji Amarillo Paste?

Aji Amarillo paste is made from a specific type of chili pepper called Aji Amarillo, which translates to “yellow chili” in Spanish. These peppers are native to Peru and are known for their bright yellow color and fruity, slightly spicy flavor. The paste is created by grinding and blending the Aji Amarillo peppers with other ingredients, such as garlic, onion, and oil, to create a smooth and creamy texture.

Uses and Benefits of Aji Amarillo Paste

  1. Flavorful Heat: Aji Amarillo paste offers a unique balance of heat and flavor. It provides a moderate level of spiciness, allowing you to add a kick to your dishes without overpowering other ingredients.
  2. Authentic Peruvian Cuisine: Aji Amarillo paste is a staple in Peruvian cuisine. It is used in traditional dishes such as ceviche, causa, and lomo saltado, to bring an authentic Peruvian taste to the table.
  3. Versatile Ingredient: This paste can be used in various recipes, including marinades, dressings, soups, and sauces. It pairs exceptionally well with seafood, poultry, vegetables, and grains.
  4. Healthy Nutrients: Aji Amarillo peppers are a rich source of vitamins A and C. They also contain capsaicin, a compound that offers health benefits, including pain relief and boosting metabolism.

Recipes Incorporating Aji Amarillo Paste

1. Aji Amarillo Chicken Skewers

These flavorful chicken skewers are perfect for grilling or baking. The Aji Amarillo paste adds a tangy and spicy twist to the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Wooden skewers

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the Aji Amarillo paste, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and toss until evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat the grill or oven to medium-high heat.
  4. Thread the marinated chicken cubes onto the wooden skewers.
  5. Grill or bake the skewers for about 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve hot with your choice of dipping sauce or alongside a fresh salad.

2. Aji Amarillo Shrimp Ceviche

Ceviche is a popular and refreshing dish that showcases the bright flavors of Aji Amarillo paste. Enjoy this delightful seafood delicacy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the Aji Amarillo paste and fresh lime juice.
  2. Add the shrimp to the mixture and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  3. After marinating, remove the shrimp and discard the liquid.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the marinated shrimp, red onion, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently until well combined.
  6. Allow the ceviche to sit in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  7. Serve chilled as an appetizer or as a light and refreshing main dish.

3. Aji Amarillo Veggie Stir-Fry

This colorful and nutritious stir-fry brings together an array of fresh vegetables with the delightful heat of Aji Amarillo paste.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cooked rice or noodles of your choice

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Aji Amarillo paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey/maple syrup to create the stir-fry sauce.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil.
  3. Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, snap peas, and mushrooms to the skillet. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  5. Pour the stir-fry sauce over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  6. Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  7. Serve the stir-fry over cooked rice or noodles for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Enjoy the vibrant and delicious flavors of Aji Amarillo paste in these mouthwatering recipes. Experiment with this versatile ingredient to create your own culinary masterpieces and savor the authentic taste of Peru.

FAQ

Q: What is Aji Amarillo Paste?

A: Aji Amarillo paste is made from a specific type of chili pepper called Aji Amarillo, which is native to Peru. It is a vibrant yellow chili pepper paste that adds a unique and authentic flavor to various recipes.

Q: What are the uses and benefits of Aji Amarillo Paste?

A: Aji Amarillo paste offers a flavorful heat that adds a moderate level of spiciness to dishes without overpowering other ingredients. It is a staple in Peruvian cuisine and can be used in traditional dishes, marinades, dressings, soups, and sauces. Aji Amarillo peppers are also a rich source of vitamins A and C, and contain capsaicin, a compound that offers health benefits such as pain relief and boosting metabolism.

Q: Can you provide a recipe incorporating Aji Amarillo Paste?

A: Sure! Here’s a recipe for Aji Amarillo Chicken Skewers:

Ingredients:
– 1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes
– 2 tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Wooden skewers

Instructions:
1. In a bowl, combine the Aji Amarillo paste, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and toss until evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat the grill or oven to medium-high heat.
4. Thread the marinated chicken cubes onto the wooden skewers.
5. Grill or bake the skewers until the chicken is cooked through.

Q: What type of dishes does Aji Amarillo Paste pair well with?

A: Aji Amarillo paste pairs exceptionally well with seafood, poultry, vegetables, and grains. It can be used to enhance the flavor of various recipes such as ceviche, causa, lomo saltado, marinades, dressings, soups, and sauces.

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