Quinoa Fritters with Aji Amarillo Aioli

IngredientsEggs, Grains
Day PartDinner, Lunch, Snack
Menu PartAppetizer/Small Plate
Cuisine TypeMexican
Quinoa Fritters with Aji Amarillo Aioli

Source: California Milk Advisory Board

Aji Amarillo is a vibrant orange chili pepper popular in Peruvian cuisine. Here, Border Grill’s chef-partners, also known as the celebrated “Two Hot Tamales,” flavor aioli with a paste made of the chilies to serve alongside quinoa fritters. Quinoa is also dominant in South American cooking as it’s grown in the Andes.


6 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
12 cups water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 3/4 cups grated California Cotija cheese, divided
2 1/2 tbsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 cups finely chopped green onions
2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
9 eggs
9 egg yolks
Grapeseed or canola oil, for frying
6 cups pico de gallo salsa
Aji Amarillo Aioli (recipe follows)

Aji Amarillo Aioli

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
3/4 tsp. salt
3-4 tbsp. aji amarillo chili paste


  1. In sauté pan over high heat, toast quinoa about 5 min., shaking and stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Transfer to large saucepan; add water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 10 min. or until water is absorbed; cool.
  2. In large bowl, combine quinoa, flour, 2 1/4 cups Cotija, salt and pepper. Add onions, parsley, eggs and yolks; stir until mixture has consistency of soft dough. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Per order, heat 1/2 in. oil in sauté pan over med. heat. Using 2 soup spoons or small ice cream scoop, press 1/4 cup dough into egg-shaped fritter; gently slide into hot oil. Repeat to make a total of 3 fritters.
  4. Fry about 1 min. or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn and fry 1 min. more on second side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat making fritters, to order, with remaining dough.
  5. For service, arrange 3 fritters on plate and top with 1 tsp. Aji Amarillo Aioli. Sprinkle with Cotija and serve with salsa.

Aji Amarillo Aioli

  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, parsley and chili paste to taste.

Yield: 1½ cups.

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