Carne Asada Tacos with Aji Amarillo Crema
The #tacotuesday you only dreamt about until now… these carne asada tacos with aji amarillo crema are delicious and REAL. Light, flavor-packed, and a little spicy, these Peruvian inspired tacos will be a hit!
The Inspiration Behind These Tacos
One of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area, Cholita Linda, inspired this recipe. It has been in the works for some time now but it all started 2 years ago when I dined at their restaurant and fell in low with the aji amarillo sauce served with the best homemade thick tortilla chips. I would stare at the sauce, looking at the specks of red and black, assuming it to be paprika and black pepper. After multiple tries and taste tests, I think this recipe comes very close!
What is Aji Amarillo?
Aji simply means chili pepper and amarillo means yellow in Spanish. It plays a huge role in Peruvian cuisine. In fact, it’s a part of their Holy Trinity in cooking, the other two being red onion and garlic. They are grown all over Peru but unlike some other peppers, they have a fruity taste accompanying the spice. If you’re used to cayenne, aji amarillo won’t be too spicy. It’s even said to have hints of mango and passionfruit.
If you can’t find any at a local international grocer or supermarket, you can purchase Doña Isabel’s version off Amazon.
These tacos can be filled with just about anything from chicken to shrimp to black beans for a vegetarian option. What never fails me though is a solid carne asada. Thick, juicy cuts of skirt steak with the perfect charred exterior and medium interior. If you never made your own marinade for carne asada, it’s so simple and so quick. You just need lots of citrus which helps to tenderize the skirt steak even more!
- Use flour tortillas.
- Make sure tortillas are street taco size AKA mini.
- Brush them with the carne asada juices.
- Toast them on a pan until crispy on the edges and golden brown.
- Eat warm!