Salsa de Ocopa – Ocopa Sauce


Originated in southern Peru in the Arequipa province, Salsa Ocopa is similar in texture to Salsa Huancaina and traditionally as well served with boiled potatoes. But its flavour is very different. The main ingredient of Salsa Ocopa is the herb Huacatay (Peruvian black mint) which gives the sauce a really unique delicious taste. Other ingredients include fresh white cheese (queso fresco), onions, aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli) and milk.

Ocopa sauce is ideal to accompany meat dishes, potatoes, pastas and fried foods like tequeños, fried yucca or others.

Salsa de Ocopa - Ocopa Sauce

Originated in southern Peru in the Arequipa province, Salsa Ocopa is similar in texture to Salsa Huancaina and traditionally as well served with boiled potatoes. But its flavour is very different. The main ingredient of Salsa Ocopa is the herb Huacatay (Peruvian black mint) which gives the sauce a really unique delicious taste. Other ingredients include fresh white cheese (queso fresco), onions, aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli) and milk.
Author: The Cook
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Ingredients

  • 6 medium fresh jalapeño chillies, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, leaves and stems, packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 80 g feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons smooth peanut butter , optional

Recipe Instructions

  • Pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Saute jalapeño peppers, onion and garlic until softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Pour into a blender container the sauteed vegetables, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, fresh coriander, salt, cheese and peanut butter (if using).
  • Blend on high until thick and creamy, about one minute.

Cooks Notes & Variations

If serving the sauce over potatoes, you may want to thin it out with a little milk, cream or vegetable oil. To thicken sauce, Peruvian cooks add a saltine cracker.
You can substitute ⅓ cup drained cottage cheese for the feta.
Increase salt if using cottage cheese.
Ocopa Sauce can vary from mild to spicy depending on the peppers you choose. If you'd like more heat, don't remove the veins or seeds from the peppers.
Any hot pepper can be used in place of jalapeños. Feel free to experiment with hot peppers from your garden and tell us about it in the comments section.
The optional peanut butter adds depth without overpowering the sauce and is a typical ingredient in some regions of Peru. Try ocopa sauce first without peanut butter and then with it.

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