Peruvian Quinoa Shrimp Chicharrones With Green Aji Sauce

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“Posted for the Central and South America stop on the Summer '08 Zaar World Tour. Chicharrones are a popular fried snack in Peru, and some chefs there are serving them with quinoa in the coating. This is a lighter version, using the technique of oven-frying to keep the coating from soaking up oil. The quinoa has a wonderful crunch, even without frying. Creator Robin Asbell used red quinoa for a dramatic look (this is a stunning photo in "The New Whole Grains Cookbook" and I'm sure a Zaar photographer can take an equally beautiful one using red or regular quinoa).”
16 chicharrones

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Make the sauce first. In a food processor or blender, finely mince the jalapeno, garlic and cilantro. Add the lime juice and salt, and puree. Drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth sauce. Reserve.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Rinse the quinoa and add it to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, then drain.
  3. Spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to dry. It should be quite dry to the touch; pat it with towels if necessary.
  4. Pat the shrimp dry, if damp, and place in a medium bowl. Mix the oregano, cumin, and cayenne and sprinkle it over the shrimp; toss to coat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Prepare two pie pans, one with the flour and one with the beaten eggs.
  7. Dip the shrimp in the flour, then the egg, then the quinoa.
  8. Place two heavy baking pans in the hot oven for five minutes. Take each out, spray liberally with oil, then quickly place the shrimp on the hot pans, keeping them from touching.
  9. Spray the coated shrimp with oil, and bake for five minutes.
  10. Flip the shrimp with tongs, then bake for five minutes more.
  11. Remove from the oven and cut one through the thickest part to ensure they are cooked through. The baking time will vary with the size of the shrimp.
  12. Serve the shrimp hot with the aji sauce.

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