Aji Criolla is Ecuador’s national hot sauce. While Ecuadorian food on its own is not a spicy cuisine, the ubiquitous aji criolla is on every table and this is how Ecuadorians add spicy heat to their food. The base of this sauce is aji chile peppers, which are small spicy hot peppers. These peppers are not commonly available in the United States, although I have seen them in a few Latin markets, so I used aji pepper paste as a substitute for the fresh peppers.
There are a few Peruvian food brands that have become readily available at any good quality Latin Market and also at some mainstream supermarkets like Dona Isabel & Inca Foods. Look for these brands and you will be able to purchase the pepper paste I used for an instant version of Aji Criolla.
Yield: approximately 1 1/2 cups
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 bunch parsley
- 6 scallions
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 3 tablespoons aji amarillo pepper paste
- salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Notes: Tomatoes are sometimes added.
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