Pork Amarillo

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“IF THERE WERE A CHILE TO TASTE LIKE SUNSHINE, THIS WOULD BE IT.”

How can you pass up a description like that?!!

Back when I discovered the chile pepper paste Gochujang, I spied another international paste called Aji Amarillo. It’s a bright yellow paste, from Peru, made from aji amarillo chile peppers.

From Serious Eats, “Aji amarillo is a bright-orange, thick-fleshed chile with a medium to hot heat level. It’s ubiquitous in Peruvian cuisine, working its way into soups and sauces, which are used in pretty much everything.”

Below are fresh aji amarillo chile peppers on the left, and the dried peppers on the right.

I wanted to use and taste this paste in its purest form, so I did what I often do with pastes and pestos, and that was to slather it on meat – in this case, pork tenderloin.

This is what it looks like – sunshine!

The options for using this paste, similar to paprika creme or an ancho chile paste, are endless. Rice or risottos, soups and stews, salad dressings, and so forth.

Pork with Aji Amarillo

2 pork tenderloins, trimmed, at room temperature
Salt
Pepper (I used Mignonette)
1 jar Aji Amarillo, about 7.5 ounces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Typically I roast pork tenderloin, but I didn’t want the chile pepper paste too browned.

Place the tenderloins in an oiled baking dish and coat all sides with the oil. Tuck under the thin ends. Sprinkle lightly with salt and generously with pepper.

I discovered Mignonette pepper a while back, sold at Penzey’s. It’s a French-Canadian mixture of white and black pepper.


After the pork tenderloins are seasoned, slather them with the Aji Amarillo.

Place in the oven and bake, using an oven thermometer preferably. I take pork out when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

Let the pork rest in the pan for about 15 minutes, then remove them to a cutting board.

Slice the pork in 3/8″ slices; it gets a bit messy with the paste.

Serve immediately. I had some roasted zucchini that I served with the pork.

Isn’t that color spectacular?!!

And don’t let the description of its fruitiness fool you. This is a chile pepper paste after all!

30 thoughts on “Pork Amarillo

  1. Thanks to the blogosphere, I, too, have fallen for ají amarillo. Yes, a wee bit of a bite, but the flavor is so addictive! Will definitely try this soon!

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  2. Aji Amarillo is new to me — have never heard of it. And obviously haven’t used it. Sounds really interesting — I’ll be looking for this. Thanks so much.

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    • I imagine there are many more chile pepper I have yet to discover and experience! But this chile paste was really fun to use, and less fiddly than using the actual chile peppers.

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  3. I wonder where I can get my hands on some of this. Great use and I love your tips of stirring it into risotto! (Great color for Halloween as well!)

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  4. Are those capers in the background, Mimi? LOVE your “sense” of flavorings. Was just about to make Sauce Vierge (re: your recently shared recipe) to top fresh bass fillets in lieu of Tilapia (I caught one of ’em, yay!), thanks to a friend’s late-season tomatoes. But, considering that pork is one o’ my man’s favorite meats (and he’s not averse
    “heat”) I plan to try this next. Hallelujah for Amazon deliveries in Oklahoma! :) Thanks for your education, entertainment, and EATS!

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    • Oh, that sauce vierge is amazing. And this paste is great, too. Absolutely, I agree – I wouldn’t know what I’d do without amazon! Well, I guess I do know because that was the dark ages, when i could only buy food when I traveled!

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