This potato side dish with a creamy, spicy sauce hails from Huancayo, in the central highland province of Junín. It is very similar to ocopa, which is found in the south of Peru.


Papa a la Huancaína
Servings Prep Time
10servings 30minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
10servings 30minutes
Cook Time
  • 6medium yellow potatoes
  • 1/2large red onion, rough chop
  • 5cloves garlic, halved
  • 2Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4tsp. salt
  • 2large eggs
  • 4each Peruvian olives, sliced
  • 1/4cup ají amarillo paste
  • 8each crackers, crushed (1 oz.)
  • 8oz. ricotta cheese or queso fresco
  • 1/2cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk / as needed
  • 1/2each fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup choclo (Peruvian corn)
  1. Peel potatoes; rinse and place in cold salted water.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and boil potatoes until just fork tender (about 20 minutes).
  3. While cooking, add 2 whole eggs; hard-boil for the last 13 minutes of potato cooking time.
  4. Rinse potatoes and egg under cold water until cool; drain and set aside.
  5. At the same time, boil the choclo in salted water (just to cover) until tender (about 5 minutes); remove from heat, and allow to cool.
  6. Heat oil; sauté onion over medium until soft (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add garlic and ají, and sauté over low heat for another 3-4 minutes or so (until soft and translucent; a little golden color is okay).
  8. Remove from heat; add the ají paste now, if using instead of fresh.
  9. Combine onion mix with ricotta/queso fresco, parmesan, cracker pieces, and lime juice; place in blender, and purée until very smooth. Taste, and adjust salt as desired (you may not need any at all).
  10. Slice the potatoes width-wise into small rounds, about ½” thick; top each round with a dollop of sauce.
  11. Garnish each potato round with a slice of hard-boiled egg and a few slices of olive. Sprinkle the choclo kernels around the potatoes.
Recipe Notes

You can substitute kalamata olives if necessary.