What can I use instead of Aji Panca? You can replace Aji Panca chili with mild chilis ranging between 500 and 3,000 SHU and smoky, berry-like flavors. The top Aji Panca chili alternative is Pasilla peppers, lending a similarly mild heat and sweet, smoky flavor. Other replacements are Ancho, Mulato, and Chipotle peppers.
Aji Panca chilis are firmly rooted in Peruvian cooking – ground into sauces, steeped in stews, sprinkled over desserts and rubbed into roast meats or kebabs. Aji Panca chilis lend a sweet, fruity, smoky, and surprisingly complex profile. When replacing Aji Panca, avoid other hotter Aji Pepper varieties and substitute them with the following milder chilis.
The Best Aji Panca Substitutes
Pasilla peppers (dried Chilaca peppers) have a complex earthy, sweet flavor with notes of berries, making them an ideal replacement for Aji Panca chilis.
Pasilla peppers are mild chilis with a low-medium heat of 1,000 to 2,500 SHU compared to Aji Panca chili’s 1,000 to 1,500 SHU scale.
Both Aji Panca and Pasilla peppers are family-friendly. You can use them interchangeably in sauces, stews, desserts, and meat rubs.
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting Aji Panca with Pasilla peppers.
Ancho peppers (dried Poblano peppers) are part of Mexican cuisine’s “Holy trinity” of dried peppers.
Ancho peppers are full of flavor and depth – their sweet, smoky, and earthy profile make them an ideal replacement for Aji Panca chilis.
Like Aji Panca chilis, Ancho peppers are on the mild end of the Scoville scale, ranging between 1,000 to 1,500 SHU.
The heat and rich flavors of Ancho peppers make them highly versatile in the kitchen.
You can substitute Aji Panca chilis with Acho peppers for sauces, pastes, and BBQ wet rubs.
Mulato peppers come from a slightly different Poblano pepper gene pool to Ancho peppers and sit a while longer on the vine before harvest.
So, while Mulato peppers are spicier than Aji Panca chilis, you can use them as a spicier replacement when in a pinch.
Mulato peppers have a medium heat of 2,500 to 3,000 SHU compared to Aji Panca chili’s 1,000 to 1,500 SHU scale.
Despite the extra spiciness, Mulato peppers have a complex smoky, sweet, and earthy flavor, making them suitable alternatives to Aji Panca chilis.
Avoid using Mulato peppers if their string licorice and chocolate notes interfere with your recipe.
Otherwise, use half the quantity of Mulato pepper when substituting Aji Panca chili.
Chipotle peppers (smoked, fried jalapeno peppers) are a famous chili in Mexico and North America.
These peppers have a delicious smoky, and earthy flavor. While chipotle peppers don’t perfectly match Aji Panca’s heat and flavor profile, they are an excellent substitute for a spicier dish.
Chipotle peppers share the same heat as jalapenos of 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. Therefore, chipotle is a step up on the SHU scale compared to Aji Panca ranging between 1,000 to 1,500 SHU.
Use one-third of the recipe’s requirement when replacing Aji Panca chilis with Chipotle peppers.
If you don’t mind the extra zing, enjoy chipotle in sauces, BBQ rubs, and kebabs.