Peruvian Causa (Potato and Crab Salad) with Aji Amarillo Sauce
We’ll be frank. Potato salad typically doesn’t excite us–except when there’s special ingredient or when it’s Peruvian style causa. Causa is classic summer dish combining classic Peruvian ingredients of yellow potato with aji amarillo (yellow chile) along with any variety of protein such as tuna, crab/lobster, or chicken. Our first taste of this dish was at Mo-Chica Peruvian Resturant, and we loved the combination of sweet/spicy yellow potatoes, flavorful minced crab, and kick of the spicy aji amarillo. It was hearty, yet refreshing and of course the aji amarillo sauce was delicious, so this was one potato dish that we were dying to make ourselves. We recreated this dish and tried it with crab meat.
Peruvian Causa (Crab and Potato Salad) (4-6 servings–adapted from yanuq.com)
- 1 lb. yellow potatoes (in Los Angeles find them at Jon’s or Food 4 Less or your local latin market. If not available, use yukon gold)
- 1 cup of minced crab meat (fresh if possible, or about 2 cans of minced crab meat-drained well)
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced thinly
- 1/2 lime
- aji amarillo sauce (**update 7/2/09** We realize not everyone can find this type of chile, so for a quick and delicious substitute, use Sriracha sauce!!)
- 1 ts sugar
- 1 ts salt
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 4 tbs light mayonnaise
- optional: sliced boiled eggs and olives
First boil the potatoes with 1 ts of salt until fork tender. Drain and allow to cool, peel, and mash until smooth. Add 2 tbs of aji amarillo sauce (adjust to your desired level spiciness), olive oil, juice from 1/2 lime, and sugar and mix well and set aside.
Combine the well drained crab meat with light mayonnaise, half of the diced red onions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain off any excess liquid.
Using small ceramic dish, layer the crab mixture followed by the potatoes. Chill for about 1 hr. Top with diced tomatoes, red onions, and slices of avocado. To make individual servings, use a round mold. We made our own mode from cutting off the ends of a small plastic water bottle, and lightly oil the insides. Or, using a large piece of saran wrap you can layer the potatoes followed by the crab and diced tomatoes, onions and avocado and roll sushi style, chill, and cut.
Apply generous topping of aji amarillo sauce and optional sliced boil egg and olives and we can guarantee that this will be one of the best potato salad you’ll ever had.