aji amarillo marinated grilled pork loin

“Aji Amarillo” Marinated Grilled Pork Loin

This dish is named for the yellow chili pepper grown all over Peru. The aji amarillo is a spicy, fruity chili pepper used in classic Peruvian cooking.

Aji amarillo marinated grilled pork loin with pisco and mango gastrique and smoked chamomile salt.
Photograph by National Geographic / Lisa Corson


For pork marinade:

1 whole pork loin
1 tbsp dried chamomile flowers crushed
1 tsp fennel pollen
1 tsp fennel seed toasted and ground
½ cup aji amarillo puree
2 tbsp flax seed oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
salt and pepper to taste

For mango gastrique:

1 ripe mango peeled and cut into small dice
1 tsp cane sugar
¼ cup pisco
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp diced habanero pepper
2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
salt to taste

For herb infused finishing salt:

2 tbsp smoked Maldon salt
1 tsp dried chamomile
½ tsp fennel pollen


1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together aji amarillo paste, flax seed oil, garlic, orange juice and zest.

2. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, add fennel pollen and dried chamomile flowers.

3. Place the pork loin in a tray and cover in marinade. Let marinate for at least 6-8 hours, preferably overnight.

4. In a small sauce pot, sauté mango with the cane sugar until lightly caramelized.

5. Flambé the pan by adding the pisco and cook until flame subsides.

6. Add the honey, habanero, black vinegar and a pinch of salt.

7. Taste glaze for seasoning, adjust if necessary.

8. Remove pork from the marinade and pre-heat your grill until very hot.

9. Grill the pork loin on all sides until nicely seared.

10. Brush the pork loin with the mango gastrique and continue basting the pork until the pork is sticky and golden.

11. Cook until the pork is medium in the center (150F).

12. Let pork loin rest and then slice it into medallions.

13. Garnish with finishing salt and spoon over remaining gastrique.