One of my bestest girlfriends from college is Peruvian, Liz, and this recipe was inspired by her. I had been picking her brain the other night she was over on how to make aji and lomo saltado for dinner this week. Coincidentally, today is Peru's Independence Day. What a perfect way to celebrate Peru's Independence day. Typically the Aji (pronounced A-hi) is a condiment that is best paired with classic Peruvian dishes. It's like their version of ketchup because you eat it with everything!
One of my most frequented restaurants back in the day was Nory's Restaurant - where they serve your typical Peruvian comfort food- lomo or pollo saltado, special rotisserie pollo, chafu de pollo, and many more dishes. (There are a couple more Peruvian restaurants in the LA area that serve great food as well). I remember the work day lunches when the team would collectively order together and I always had to make sure we had plenty of aji sauce to go around. It gave all our dishes that extra kick of heat and you couldn't get enough of it. I paired this Aji sauce with lomo saltado and it turned out better than Nory's. It had more flavor and not as watery and just the perfect amount of heat that I was looking for. Salud!
Original Krystal recipe
Inspired from my Peruano girlfriend, Liz
6 green onions - white and green parts
3 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, no stems
3 to 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of queso fresco
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until combined and a liquid forms. Add more lettuce if needed - the water in the lettuce will help formulate the sauce and give the bright green color. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce into a container and it will keep for at least a week.
Serve and enjoy with your Lomo Saltado! Or enjoy with toasted bread or french fries.
Review: Perfect blend of spices and a beautiful sauce to enjoy with our Peruano inspired meal. I wish all Peruvians a peaceful and Happy Independence day.