10 Years of Blog Archive

Monday, April 08, 2013

Famous Aji Sauce Recipe Made by Ecuadorians In My Kitchen!

We are blessed to live next door to some wonderful Ecuadorian neighbors. We share recipes with each other. They have made us some excellent homemade humitas and other tasty Ecuadorian foods. I asked Maria if she would like to come over to our house one evening to show me how to make the famous Ecuadorian aji sauce.  And here it is. Maria is a good cook.

Aji sauce is served in most Ecuadorian restaurants as a side dish for putting on rice and chicken. Sometimes it can be quite spicy and other times not spicy at all. We like it spicy but you can substitute regular bell pepper for the hot aji peppers to make a more mild sauce.

There are many different versions of aji sauce. But this recipe is the richest and best tasting we have ever had. And we are pleased to share this recipe with our readers.

4 tomatillos
2 aji peppers
small bunch of cilantro
1 white onion or big bunch of scallions
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Boil tomatillos for ten minutes.
2. Mince aji peppers, cilantro, and onion and set aside.
3. Drain tomatillos and cool slighlty.
4. Take skin off tomatillos. Slice off the end end and the skin will easily peel off. 
5. Place tomatillos, peppers, onions, olive oil and salt in blender and blend for several minutes until creamy.
6. Use a small mesh strainer and strain the aji into a small tupperware bowl.
7. Add cilantro and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Aji is really good on brown or white rice, chicken, fish, or whatever you like. Aji sauce lasts in the refrigerator for a full week if covered properly. Enjoy!


  1. My husband and I are moving to Ecuador in Feb. Today we ate in an Ecuadorian Restaurant in Bridgeport, CT. They had the aji sauce and I came home to look up the recipe. I LOVED it!! The one we ate was red orange in color not yellow, but it is probably the tomatoes used. The rest of the ingredients listed above seem right. I am going to try to make it.I brought some home from the restaurant to compare it. I love all of your videos and helpful hints about how to enjoy living in Ecuador. Thanks!

    1. Hello. Yes, we love aji sauce too. Everyone in Ecuador has their own version. On the coast they add carrots.

      It was probably red-orange because they also added aji powder. Just a little bit of it will turn your food red.

  2. Thanks for that info on the powder. Since the restaurant is in the US they may have access to the powder and not the fresh peppers. I am going to look up on the web to see if you can buy the powder here or ask at the restaurant. I didn't want to ask the restaurant for the recipe, because most don't want to give out their recipes, understandably.

  3. Angie,
    Could you ask Maria if I should soak dried aji peppers before using them and should I use or discard the seeds? Thanks!

  4. Hi Joyce,

    There is no need to soak the peppers. You can use the seeds if you want but...it will make the sauce hotter! If you like hot, use the seeds! Let us know how your recipe goes.


  5. My son went to school and lived in Cuenca. I'm trying to buy bottles of Aji sauce and I can't find them here in America. Where can I order some from Cuenca?

  6. Good question Mrs. H. Aji is an Ecuadorian traditional condiment. Each Ecuadorian family/restaurant has their own aji recipe and they just make it for the restaurant. Unfortunately, the aji sauce sold in stores is just the aji pepper in liquid form like tabasco and it's really spicy...for some reason I don't think that is what you are looking for. You might ask some of the Ecuadorian restaurants that are online to see if they bottle it for retail. I doubt it though. Sorry, we couldn't help you further.


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