Ají mirasol is an ingredient you’ll see a lot of in Peruvian cuisine. It’s usually used as a paste, as I teach you here. You could also use it as a powder. This recipe for homemade Peruvian ají mirasol paste (mirasol chilli paste) is perfect to make lots and then freeze it. It will freeze up to a year without a problem.
Ají mirasol paste (mirasol chilli paste)
If you’ve never tried ají mirasol (mirasol chilli), it’s really good. It has a dark yellow colour, it’s not spicy if cleaned. In Peru, it’s made by drying ají Amarillo, the most typical chilli used in Perú. Its flavour is similar to ají Amarillo, only stronger, deeper and more intense. It adds a special flavour to Peruvian dishes. I use it on my fish escabeche and many people add some to their ají de gallina, also. You’ll find it on several other Peruvian recipes as well! Ají mirasol paste is really easy to make. I like to make a lot and then freeze it. You can freeze it in ice cubes, in a container or in reusable bags. It lasts up to a year frozen, but only 3 days refrigerated because it turns to vinegar quickly.
Mirasol chilli paste or ají mirasol chilli paste is part of the trilogy of chillis we often use in Peruvian cuisine. They are yellow chilli (ají Amarillo), panca (ají panca) and this one, the mirasol. In the case of the mirasol paste adds a very special flavour to dishes, don’t opt out of it if a recipe asks for it. If you like this recipe, you should also check out my ají mirasol paste recipe and my ají amarillo paste recipe. If you live outside of Perú, you can usually get these ingredients in Latin shops or even on amazon.
You usually add ají mirasol paste, like other pastes, with the sofrito. A typical set of ingredients would be onion, garlic and one or several chilli pastes. Sautéeing the chilli pastes makes them more intense and brings out the flavour even more.
- 200 g dried ají mirasol
- Vegetable oil 50-150ml
- Dried ají mirasol comes in two options of presentations: whole or clean. If it's whole, you want to chop off the tips, open it in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and veins.
- Place the chilli in a pot and cover it with water at room temperature.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat and let it boil for 10-15min for the chillis to soften.
- Drain the water and place the chillis in a blender or food processor along with 50ml (about 5 tbsp) of vegetable oil.
- Turn on the blender or food processor and add more oil a little at a time, just enough for the blender or processor to turn the chillis into a paste.
- Remove from the blender or food processor and freeze in ice cube trays, containers or reusable bags. You can freeze it for up to a year.