Aji Mirasol

Aji Mirasol, also known as dried aji amarillo, means “look at the sun,” referring to the technique used to sun dry fresh aji amarillo to a yellow-red color. Used throughout Peru, especially in the Andes and the south-central part of the country, aji mirasol has a lightly smoky and fruity flavor. It can be ground and used as a spice or blended with oil to form a paste. It is especially good as a rub on roast meats.

Aji Mirasol is used in various Peruvian dishes such as Tamales, made of mote, a white hominy dough, and filled with meat and olives, wrapped in banana leaves then steamed for 3-4 hours, and Aji de Gallina, Peruvian chicken fricassee. It also can be added to Peruvian Sofrito, which we call Aderezo and make by combining vegetable oil, onions, garlic paste, paprika and salt.

To give a kick and smoky flavor to any dish, make aji mirasol into a paste. Wash, de-vein and remove the seeds of 1 pound aji and soaking overnight in water. Then blend with 1/3 cup canola oil. You can also blanch them in water and blend with oil.

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