I love Ceviche. And even more than the common citrusy one, I love Tiradito. This is the Peruvian interpretation of a Japanese Sashimi, so to speak, where the fish is cut into thin slices and served raw, in a creamy, dreamy, slightly hot sauce called Aji or Aji Amarillo. – Ah, Tiradito, yes, I adore you so much, I might suffer a case of obsession…
And still, when I was gifted with a big basket full of bright little yellow peppers that turned out to be Aji Dulce, or Peruvian Lemon Drops – the main ingredient of Aji -, it was not fish that came to my mind. It was a plump, sexy, poached egg that suddenly was dancing in front of my inner eye. Eureka! – I would provoke my Lemon Drops into a hefty flirt with Eggs Benedict. In a way, that ultimately would lead to marriage. She would take on his last name, but still keep hers. Eggs Peru-Dict. Perfect.
Aji is very easy to prepare. Aji Dulce – don’t let you fool by its name – is a hot pepper with bright, citrusy flavors that can be substituted with Tabasco or Cayenne peppers, or also with the dried Lemon Drop, Aji Mirasol. In case you get your hands on a copious amount of fruit, simply fill the sauce into small containers or ice cube trays and freeze it, so that you can pop it out whenever the craving strikes. The one for Tiradito or the one for poached eggs. Depending on your mood.
Aji Amarillo Paste
- 1 lbs Aji Dulce
- 2-4 tbsp vegetable oil
Put Aji into a large pan, fill up with water and bring to a broil. Let boil 5 minutes, drain. Repeat twice, using fresh water each time.
Cut off the stems of the peppers, cut into halves lengthwise. Remove the seeds and glands.
In a food processor, purée Aji, adding the oil in stages, until the paste reaches the desired consistency. Store in the fridge or freezer.
(makes plenty for 1 serving of Eggs Perudict)
- 1 tbsp Aji Amarillo Paste
- 1 pce Peruvian Lemon Drop pepper, washed, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients into a smooth, not too thin sauce and set aside.
(makes 1 serving)
- 2 handful Arugula, washed and dried
- 1/2 pce Avocado
- 1/2 pce Lime
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp Tiradito
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Arrange the Arugula in the center of a large plate.
Cut Avocado into slices, drizzle Lime on each slice and arrange on the Arugula.
Fill large pan with water and bring to a boil. Crack the eggs open and carefully slide into the water. Cook 2-3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and put on paper towel. Carefully pat the eggs dry.
Arrange eggs on top of the Arugula-Avocado nest, pour Aji Amarillo on top. Add salt and pepper to your liking. – Bon appétit!