Papa a la Huancaína is a Peruvian dish made from boiled potatoes topped with a spicy creamy sauce, boiled eggs and olives. Its name translates to ‘Huancayo style potatoes’. It is usually served cold as an appetizer over a bed of lettuce leaves, or as a side dish.
The Huancaína sauce is made from ají amarillo, a South American yellow chili pepper, and fresh cheese. It is a very popular sauce in Peruvian cuisine and can be incorporated into many other meals, such as with steak, spaghetti, or even as a dipping sauce.
Origin & Cultural Significance
This potato-based dish originated in Huancayo, a city located in the Andes, in the 19th century. Originally made popular by the rail workers, Papa a la Huancaína quickly became a staple dish across Peru.
Traditionally, a batán (a large, stone pestle and mortar) would have been used to make the sauce smooth and creamy, but today many cooks use a blender for convenience.
- Yellow potatoes - 8
- Fresh cheese - 1 cup
- Ají amarillo chili peppers - 4
- Garlic cloves - 2
- Milk - 1-3 tbsp
- Iceberg lettuce - 4 leaves
- Eggs - 4
- Olives - 8
- Salt - to taste
- Add the potatoes to a saucepan and boil for 20 minutes, until soft. Once cooked, drain the potatoes and leave them to cool.
- In another pan, boil the eggs until they are hard boiled, leave to cool, peel and cut them in half lengthways.
- Slice open the ají amarillo chili peppers and remove the seeds.
- In a frying pan, fry the chili peppers and garlic until fragrant.
- Put the chili peppers, garlic, cheese and salt into a pestle and mortar, or blender, and grind until smooth.
- If the sauce is too thick, add milk in small amounts until a custard-like consistency is achieved.
- Slice the potatoes into halves and lay them on lettuce leaves.
- Generously top with your Huancaina sauce and place boiled eggs and olives on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 553Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 217mgSodium: 517mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 23g