miércoles, 13 de abril de 2016

A tribute to both sides of the Pacific Ocean: Huincaina sauce with ginger and curry

A few days ago Asia 's 50 Best Restaurants' gala was held in Thailand. To pay a tribute to Asian Chefs from the Latin American continent I tried this typical Peruvian dish with an oriental touch...

The Pacific Ocean connects continents and cultures. Native Americans came from the Far East crossing the Arctic to what is now Alaska and colonized the continent. Much later, it is speculated that ancient Peruvians sailed back to the islands of Australian Pacific (Kon Tiki project). Asian and Andean cultures are highly oriented to the sea: it is now known that the first waves of humans who migrated from Africa to conquer the planet were skilled fishermen that moved across the coastlines to the East.

Back to present, the famous Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (you know his restaurants "Nobu") of Japanese origin, lived for a long period in Peru and it was there where he honed his culinary offerings that have led to the top of the culinary fusion worldwide.

It is for this ancestral union of cultures that I wanted to pay a little tribute, preparing a typical Peruvian sauce with a touch of the cultures and the ingredients of the East.

La sauce

The huincaina sauce, though not as ancient as ceviche, is typical of Perú, originally from the province of Huancayo in the central area of the country, a region of mountains. It is made based on Peruvian yellow pepper: please note that in this recipe I used yellow bell pepper that is commonly available in Uruguay. The difference is that the former is more spicy. This sauce is made by processing yellow pepper with milk, cheese and usually served over boiled potatoes with boiled egg. This sauce is as popular in Peru as ceviche, but unfortunately still not so famous worldwide. There are thousands of versions of this recipe on the web, I recommend you read the story and the version of star Peruvian Chef Gastón Acurio (link here).

I read many recipes and finally decided to roast the peppers to remove the skin. That also gives them a slightly sweeter taste. Although traditionally served with potatoes as a first dish, this sauce can also be served with spaghetti or ravioli, as I did on this post... just keep reading until the end!

Yellow peppers seedless ready for the oven
After 30 minutes in the oven @ 200ªC (approx. 400ªF).

Roasted yellow peppers: so yummy and sweet
And now skinless, ready for the processor.

Skinless ready for the processor

Huincaina traditional sauce ingredients:

3 yellow peppers roasted, skinless
1 clove garlic
200 gr. fresh cheese (like ricotta)
4 to 5 crackers
2 tablespoons oil
milk to liquefy
Salt and pepper to taste

"Oriental " ingredients:

Chopped ginger curry powder


250 gr of italian pasta (semolina) spaghetti
Abundant boiling water
Salt to taste


This is very simple. Finely chop a piece of ginger and garlic clove and sautee lightly, add curry powder.
Ginger, garlic and curry powder

Bring water to boil for the pasta. In a blender put all the sauce ingredients (traditional Peruvian + Oriental). Process adding milk gradually to obtain the desired consistency.

Process all the ingredients

Watch the beautiful golden hues turn up before your eyes... delicious!!

The huincaina sauce, ladies and gents...
Boil the pasta following the directions on the package, and strain. Place the sauce in a pan over low heat so we can heat the pasta with the sauce altogether.

With low heat, incorporate the sauce and the pasta before serving.

And last but not least, plating the pasta with a little fancy decoration.

Pasta with huincaina sauce with a touch of ginger and curry

Here is my modest tribute to star Asian Chefs who won, and in particular to Gaggan (his bio here) who won the coveted Award for Best Asian restaurant in 2016 (link here).

Gaggan is an Hindu chef who is bringing innovation to this ancient cuisine, as is Gastón Acurio, the current leader of the New Peruvian and Latin American cuisine.

Enjoyed it and wanna keep on reading??

Find below the links to similar posts (please remember you can automatically translate to English)

Mexican tortillas... uruguayan style!!

Zucchini  carpaccio in entree with fruits

Quinoa is the new super-food

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