Chile - Aji Amarillo
"Aji" means chile pepper in Spanish, and "amarillo" means yellow. While these are called “yellow chile peppers”, they actually mature to a deep orange color. The Aji Amarillo Chile is thought to have originated in Bolivia or Peru and it is believed to have been domesticated in Peru about 2500 B.C. Also known as Aji Escabeche, Yellow Chile, Peruvian Chile and is frequently called Cusqueno when in the dried form.
If you've ever had Peruvian food, there's a good chance you've tasted this under appreciated chile. The Aji Amarillo is considered part of the holy trinity of Peruvian cuisine along with garlic and red onions.
From the C. baccatum species, Aji Amarillo chile pods are 4-5 inches long and are considered a hot chile coming in at 30,000 to 50,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units). These dried Aji Amarillo Chiles have had their stems removed for your convenience. There are approximately 5 chiles per ounce.
Aji Amarillos are sometimes compared to the Scotch Bonnet but with a bit less fire. This thick skinned, bright orange chile has a raisiny aroma and offers a lot of fruitiness for its heat. The fruity flavor has hints of mango and passion fruit while the fruitiness is different from other chiles, like anchos, as it is less sharp, with more of a subtle full body.
With its unique flavor the Aji Amarillo is worth seeking out and unlike the better known Mexican and Caribbean chiles this is considered a true Latin American chile.
In Peruvian cuisine you’ll find Aji Amarillos used mostly with root vegetables, ceviche, some seafood dishes and in the classic Peruvian dishes - Causa Rellena and Peruvian Beef Stew. We also like use them in rice, salsas, sauces and stews for a surprising and unexpected flavor.
Use ground Aji Amarillo in place of hotter chiles in spice blends like chili powder.
This is a perfect versatile chile to add to your well stocked spice cabinet especially if you’re a fan of spicy flavor. Because it provides such a different flavor profile form most chiles it is a nice change of pace and can be used as an everyday chile that will compliment many dishes.
For optimum flavor you can toast these on a skillet over medium heat. It only takes a few minutes to roast them and the unmistakable aroma will tell you when they’re done. To re-hydrate them soak in hot tap water for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to soak longer as they can become bitter.
Chiles are packed in Resealable Plastic Bags rather than in Jars.