Lima-Style Tuna Causa

This potato terrine filled with tuna is lemony, spicy, creamy, and refreshing, all at the same time. It is wildly popular in Peru. Aji Amarillo paste is available in jars online or in South American grocery stores.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hours 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 6 starchy yellow potatoes (or you may use Russet or Idaho potatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp. ají amarillo paste
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 3 medium limes
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 can (7 oz.) tuna in olive oil
  • 3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 6 black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup giant corn kernels, cooked (or use regular white corn)
  • 4 parsley sprigs


  • Scrub the potatoes and cook in a pan of boiling water over high heat for 25 minutes or until soft, but not mushy. Drain. Peel them while hot and mash them immediately or pass them through a ricer.
  • Add the ají amarillo paste, vegetable oil, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt to the mashed potatoes. This is the base for causa. The texture should not be watery at all (itʼs more like firm mashed potatoes). Cover with a kitchen towel and reserve.
  • Drain tuna and combine with mayonnaise in a bowl. Slice the avocado. Lightly oil a 10-inch cake pan, loaf pan, or small pastry rings. Line the base of the pan with a layer of potato. Cover with the tuna mixture, then with avocado slices, remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add another layer of potatoes on top, cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Unmold the causa prior to serving and garnish with eggs, olives, corn, and parsley. Serve cold.