Salmon, red kiwicha, yellow potato, rocoto chilli

Robert Ortiz's dish revels in the flavours and ingredients of Peru, by pairing the salmon with a leche de tigre sauce and a yellow ricoto chilli potato purée. Kiwicha is a type of amaranth with long red flower clusters, and in this recipe both the flowers and grain of the plant are used to stunning effect alongside the salmon. Make sure you keep the sauces for this dish well-chilled when you're not using them.

First published in 2015





Achiote oil

  • 50g of dried achiote seeds
  • 250ml of vegetable oil
  • 50ml of extra virgin olive oil


Yellow chilli paste

Yellow potato purée

Leche de tigre base

Yellow rocoto leche de tigre

Coriander sauce

Achiote salt

To serve


  • Blender
  • Fine strainer


Begin by preparing the achiote oil. Place the achiote seeds in a dry saucepan over a low-medium heat and toast carefully, ensuring they do not burn. As soon as the seeds release a nutty, sweet, peppery aroma, add the oils, remove from the heat and allow to infuse. Once the oil has turned a vibrant red colour, strain into a bottle and retain the seeds - you can use them to make 2 more batches of oil, if desired
  • 50g of dried achiote seeds
  • 250ml of vegetable oil
  • 50ml of extra virgin olive oil
Before cooking the kiwicha grains, wash the beetroot and place in a small saucepan. Cover with water, bring to the boil then turn down the heat. Simmer until tender - to test this, pierce with a skewer or knife, it should go through the centre easily
Strain, allow the beetroot to cool slightly and peel while still warm. Roughly chop the beetroot and place in a blender (or use a hand blender) and blitz until a smooth purée forms. Set aside until required
Rinse the kiwicha in plenty of cold water. Place into a saucepan with the 400ml of water, bring to the boil and cook for 8 minutes. Pour the contents of the pan into a fine sieve to drain and set aside to cool down. Stir through 60g of the beetroot purée, a dash of achiote oil and salt to taste
  • 400ml of water
  • salt
  • 200g of kiwicha grain
To prepare the yellow chilli paste for the potato purée and leche de tigre, cut each yellow rocoto pepper lengthways to make 4 strips and remove the veins and seeds. Boil in water until the skin starts to come off naturally - this usually takes 7-8 minutes. Strain and refresh in iced water. Strain again and blend with a dash of olive oil to form a smooth paste
To prepare the potato purée, peel, wash and cut the potatoes into evenly sized chunks. Place into a saucepan, cover with cold water and boil until tender and soft
Strain and allow the potatoes to steam for a few minutes. Meanwhile, add the cream, milk and 100g of yellow chilli paste to a pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour the mix onto the potatoes, along with the oil. Mix well and pass through a ricer or fine sieve to create a smooth purée. Place in a saucepan, cover and set aside
  • 100g of double cream
  • 30ml of whole milk
  • 10ml of olive oil
  • salt
To prepare the leche de tigre base, blend the onions, celery, garlic and ginger with the water to form a paste. Add the bream, continue to blend until smooth and set aside to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour
Add the chopped coriander and limo chilli to the base sauce. Mix thoroughly, but do not bruise the herbs or the final sauce will be discoloured. Allow to rest over ice for 30 minutes, then pass through a fine chinois - gently press down using the back of a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible. Mix the lime juice into the sauce and store in the fridge until required
  • 62ml of lime juice, passed through a chinois
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 chilli, preferably limo chilli, roughly chopped
To finish the yellow rocoto leche de tigre, add 125g of the yellow chilli paste, the lime juice, 50g of leche de tigre base, mayonnaise and salt to a blender and blitz to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the olive oil to emulsify and set aside
For the coriander sauce, wash the coriander and roughly chop the leaves and stalks. Cook for 30 seconds in salted boiling water, then refresh in iced water. Strain and squeeze out as much excess water as possible. Blend with the garlic, mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice and salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve
Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas mark 1/4
For the achiote salt, dry the bread in the oven until crispy and hard but not coloured. Drizzle over 10ml of the achiote oil and sprinkle on the salt. Leave to dry again for 20-30 minutes. Then, blend in a food processor, sift through a strainer to remove any large crumbs and retain the fine salted breadcrumbs
Cut the salmon across the grain to yield thin slices and marinate in the oil and salt for 5-10 minutes. While the salmon is marinating, warm the kiwicha and potato purée and remove all of the other elements from the fridge
To prepare the garnishes, heat a small pan of the vegetable oil to 180˚C. Ensure the garlic leaves are dry then deep fry for 20-30 seconds to crisp up. Remove from the oil, drain on absorbent towel and season lightly with salt
Sear the salmon in a hot non-stick pan for 1 minute on each side - or cook to your liking
Place the kiwicha onto plates and arrange 3 pieces of salmon around. Cover with the rocoto leche de tigre and spoon or pipe the warm potato purée alongside
Garnish with the crispy garlic leaf, sea asparagus, sea grapes, kiwicha flowers, coriander sauce and the achiote salt. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Robert Ortiz is a pioneer of Peruvian cuisine, bringing the heady flavours and bright colours of his native country to an appreciative European audience.

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