What’s in the Sophie’s Cuban Green Sauce?

Inspired by this post on the Serious Eats: New York forum, I emailed Sophie’s Cuban to find out what exactly is in their green sauce. Their response: “It is a modification¬†of peruvian aji, the only difference is that we are using jalapenos instead of the peruvian chile, which is called rocoto.” Whatever the hell it is, it tastes pretty damn good on their pork and plantain sandwich!


  • We have a nice cheap Peruvian pollo restaurant here with serve yourself aji sauce and five others. All are delicious. Some are spicy

    2 serrano peppers (can substitute jalapeno if wanted)
    1 clove of garlic
    1/3 cup Mayo
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 tsp fresh lime juice
    ~1/2 head of cilantro (I just kept putting it in until it tasted right)

    Ever see the green spicy sauce at Indian tandoori buffets?
    That’s also delish

  • Sophie’s aji is great but they are bitches about giving you more than a tiny thimble full.

  • eeewww it has mayo in it?? Is this true?

  • Seriously, Mamacita – you didn’t know that? Seriously?

  • @DDR …the one on 23rd St. you can have all you want in a squirt bottle if you sit down and they were happy to give me what I want on take out. But that’s on 23rd. Maybe they have the squirt at yours? I keep forgetting why I read this midtown blog.

  • Mayo ewwww …. I just vomited a little bit inside.

  • DDR, sometime I choose to live in denial. Kinda like the white sauce at the meat carts.
    Shameful but true.

  • the sophie’s on mad/34th is pretty stingy with green sauce for takeout, but there are squirt bottles on the table when you eat it. pio pio also has excellent green sauce (34th b/w 2nd & 3rd), i think i actually prefer it over sophie’s. they are pretty generous if you request extra green sauce with your delivery, and if, like me, you like to eat green sauce on everything, you can buy a big tub of the sauce for $5.

  • Green Sauce = Liquid Crack

  • I wrote this on Yelp a long time ago…


    I love this stuff and also eat spoonfuls when I go to sophies.

    First it is definately not mojo. Mojo is citrus flavors and garlic. To be strictly authentic, you’d use the acid juice of the sour orange (naranja agria), a fruit that looks like a green bumpy orange but that tastes more like a lime. Sour oranges can be found at Hispanic markets. Fresh lime juice mixed with orange juice makes an acceptable substitute.
    None of these flavor profiles seem to be in Sophie’s sauce.

    I have done a decent much of searching online for recipes for this sauce and haven’t come up with much in terms of Cuban cuisine. I had the sauce in two places in queens before I had it at sophie’s. Pio Pio in woodside, and randomly at a Chinese place, also in woodside. The chinese place had rotisserie chicken and plantains to catered to the latin crowd in that neighborhood.

    The first ingredients I guessed were guacamole, jalapeno and black pepper, some cilantro, and possibly vinegar. I also noticed it separates when it sits, so there is probably water in it. When I first started trying to figure out the recipe I wouldn’t have guessed mayonnaise, but the more I started looking around on the internet the more I figured out it possibly could. I would guess sophie’s version doesn’t have mayonnaises.

    So this is what I found searching around the internet:
    It seems to be related to and/or a variant of Peruvian’s Green Aji (which sometimes has fet in it), and/or also a Yucatan Aji Verde

    See a couple different recipes and you can pick the one you like best (closest to sophies is soulfusionkitchen)


    I’m serious about sauces!


    The green aj that you find in the US seems to be slightly variant based on availability of ingredients. In peru they don’t seem to use jalepeno, but since is more readily availible in the US it used as a substitute. Another ingredient that can also be used is huacatay, or what in English is called Black Peppermint.

  • Not the first time Mamacita has pretended she hates white viscous goo.

    And yet she’s always back for more….

  • The sauce photo from the link in the first post looks like the sauce that they give you at Crisp, doesn’t it?


  • Tyler beat me to the crack reference.
    Green sauce really is like crack.
    “tu Casa” in Kew Gardens has amazing green sauce and the food is superb!

  • HA!! DDR you were wrong! No mayo!

    I can now eat with a clear conscious. ;-P


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    I just read the Sophies website and saw that they have some Peruvian influences. I immediately thought of the green sauce at Pio Pio (UES and 34th St.). Hot damn! I gotta give it a go making aji. I live in CA now and miss both Sophies and Pio Pio.

    There is another place on E 7th and 1st that serves latin food and has crazy good sauce. Small place that expanded about 2 1/2 years ago.

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    There is no mayo in the sauce, see below for the response from Sophie’s:


    No it doesn’t have it.

    Viviana Santacruz
    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Guest Feedback From Sophie Corporate Website
    Date: Fri, March 15, 2013 12:23 pm
    To: “S. Luna” ,”V. Santacruz”
    ,”Jim McKenna”

    Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
    () on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 11:23:44

    Comments: Is there mayonnaise in the Green Sauce?

    submit: Submit

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