Causa is the layered potato and seafood salad you see above. A signature dish from Peru there are endless ways to compose and present this dish. You can make this as gourmet or as humble as you want. While we’ve made a simple Causa here, you need only be limited by your imagination. I’ve seen huge family sized Causa (that you would cut into slices like a cake) to mini ornate appetizer sized Causa – Causa with layers of mashed purple potatoes and any number of different fillings and sauces. Google Causa for some inspiration and have fun making your own version of this classic Peruvian specialty.
Our take on Causa captures three classic Peruvian ingredients – First – the Peruvian potato – Peru is famous for their hundreds of varieties of potatoes and as a result there are many dishes that revolve around their endless varieties. A classic Causa would use the yellow potato of Peru, but as we couldn’t exactly pick those up at No Frills – we grabbed a bag of mini golden gem potatoes and peeled them to help create a uniform color.
The second essential component in Causa is seafood – while we have simplified (and economized) our Causa with Tuna – this dish is easily adapted to include the best fresh seafood you can find. From fresh crab meat, to baby shrimp or prawns. Depending on the occasion, you might want to elevate the seafood portion.
The final must-use ingredient is Aji Amarillo (Yellow Pepper). We have used this ingredient in other posts – Papas a la Huancaina and our favorite – Salteñas. We pick ours up at the South China Seas Trading company in the Granville Island Public Market. The yellow pepper has a great flavor and depending on preference you can adjust the amount to create a milder or stronger intensity.
Presentation of this dish is key, so use some sort of a mold. We’ve used tart rings to create our layers but you can also use the tuna can if you remove the bottom of the tin as well (be careful of the edges)
This recipe will make 4-6 Causa
- 1 pound bag of yellow fleshed mini potatoes (larger ones if you can find them) peeled, and boiled until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork easily. / 1 libra de papas pueden ser grandes o pequeñas, peladas y hervidas hasta que estén blandas.
- 2 tbs Aji Amarillo / Yellow pepper
- 4 tbs Lemon Juice / jugo de limón
- 2 Cans of Tuna / atún en lata
- 1 Red pepper / Pimentón rojo
- 1/2 Onion / cebolla
- 1/4 cups of mayonnaise / taza de mayonesa
- 1 Avocado / palta
- Salt and Pepper to taste / sal y pimienta al gusto
- Olive Oil / Aceite de oliva
Instructions / Instrucciones
- Peel and boil potatoes, then rice or mash in a large bowl / Pelar las papas y ponerlas a hervir en una olla grande
- Mix the potato with the aji amarillo, taste as you go until it is spiced to your liking. Add 2 tbs of lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix everything together. Add Olive oil as needed until you’ve formed a smooth potato ‘dough’ / Mezclar las papas con el aji amarillo. Agregar 2 cucharadas de jugo de limón y sal y pimienta al gusto. Agregar aceite de oliva, así será más facil amasar la papa.
- Finely dice the red pepper and the onion, add them to a medium bowl and mix together with the canned tuna. Add the remaining lemon juice and the mayonnaise and mix well. / Cortar el pimiento rojo y la cebolla en cuadritos y colocarlos en un recipiente junto al atún, agregar el jugo de limón restante y la mayonesa, mezclar bien.
- We assembled our Causa with a base layer of potatoes, topped with a layer of avocado, another layer of potatoes, a layer of tuna, one final layer of potatoes and finished with a spoonful of tuna on top and garnished with an avocado slice / Colocar como base la papa y encima la palta, agregar encima otra capa de papa y en la parte superior colocar el atún y para terminar otra capa más de papa. Puedes colocar una rebanada de palta y un poco de atún encima como decoración.