Peru: Recipes and Cuisine

Country | Peru Image

Peruvian cuisine is a unique mix of ancient Incan roots, Spanish foods, French methods and even Chinese immigrant dishes. The potato was first cultivated here and is still much beloved in its hundreds of varieties. Corn and quinoa form a further starchy foundation for meals. The ají pepper adds spice and color to many dishes. Fish and seafood is abundant along the coast where ceviche is especially popular.

Peruvian Recipes

Ají de Gallina

Poultry | Aji de Gallina

(Peruvian spicy chicken in a creamy yellow pepper sauce)

This hearty chicken dish gets its enticingly yellow hue from the spicy ají amarillo chile pepper, one of the must-have ingredients of Peruvian cuisine. The heat of the peppers is softened by a liberal dose of evaporated milk or cream. Read more »

Alfajores

Desserts | Alfajores Cookies

(South American dulce de leche sandwich cookies)

While they have origins in Moorish Spain, alfajores are especially popular in South America. They are simple shortbread sandwich cookies with a sweet filling of dulce de leche. Different doughs are used for the cookies depending on the country. Some use normal flour dough, while others add cornstarch or even cassava flour for a more delicate crumb. This recipe uses a mixture of flour and cornstarch. Read more »

Arroz con Pato

Poultry | Arroz con Pato Image

(Peruvian duck with rice)

Arroz con pato is the tasty Peruvian version of the chicken and rice dish arroz con pollo that is found in many Latin cuisines. In Peru, duck is preferred and cilantro and dark beer are essential to the earthy taste of the dish. Read more »

Cancha

Appetizers | Cancha Image

(Ecuadorian, Peruvian toasted corn snack)

Cancha, a popular snack in Peru and Ecuador, is made with a special type of large-kerneled corn called maíz chulpe or maíz cancha chulpe. The dried kernels are tossed with oil and toasted in a hot skillet until they are browned and puffed. A simple sprinkling of salt and the cancha is ready to eat. Cancha is often served with ceviche or a cold beer. Read more »

Carapulcra

Soups | Carapulcra

(Peruvian pork and freeze-dried potato stew)

Modern Peruvian cuisine has several dishes with ancient roots in Incan culture, and carapulcra is one of them. Carapulcra is a thick stew made with meat and the freeze-dried potatoes called chuño, or papa seca. Read more »

Causa Rellena

Vegetables | Causa Rellena

(Peruvian layered potato dish)

This versatile Peruvian potato dish makes a great light meal or a fine addition to a buffet spread. Causa can be layered with any number of fillings — chicken salad and tuna salad are favorites. Served cold, causa rellena is often topped with extravagant garnishes and sauces for a colorful presentation. Read more »

Ceviche

Fish | Ceviche Image

(Latin citrus-marinated seafood)

Ceviche is believed to have originated in Peru or Ecuador in Inca times. The seafood was originally marinated in chicha, a fermented corn beverage. Spanish conquerors brought with them citrus trees and the juice of the lemon, lime and Seville orange was substituted. Over time, ceviche became popular throughout Latin America, and each country, locale and cevichería supplies its own twist on the basic recipe. Read more »

Chupe de Camarones

Soups | Chupe de Camarones

(Peruvian shrimp chowder)

Chupes are hearty chowders popular along South America's Pacific coast from Chile to Peru. Chupe de camarones is a Peruvian classic made with shrimp and vegetables and is substantial enough to make a full meal. Read more »

Locro

Soups | Locro Image

(Ecuadoran, Peruvian potato-cheese soup)

Locro is a nourishing potato-cheese soup popular in Ecuador and Peru. A soup with the same name is found in Argentina, but Argentine locro is a vegetable and meat stew. Read more »

Lomo Saltado

Meats | Lomo Saltado

(Peruvian beef and potato stir fry)

People are often surprised to learn that Peruvian cuisine has a strong Chinese influence. A large Chinese immigrant community in Lima has given rise to a unique fusion of Incan, European and Asian cuisine called chifa cooking. Lomo saltado, a stir fry of beef and French fries over rice, is the ultimate example. Read more »

Manjar Blanco

(Bolivian, Chilean, Peruvian caramel spread; see Dulce de Leche recipe)

Papa a la Huancaína

Vegetables | Papa a la Huancaina Image

(Peruvian potatoes with chile-cheese sauce)

Papa a la Huancaína, or potatoes Huancayo-style, is one of the most famous dishes of Peruvian cuisine. Boiled potatoes are topped with a slightly spicy, rich and creamy cheese sauce and are served cold or at room temperature as an appetizer or side dish. Read more »

Patacones

(South American fried plantains; see Tostones recipe)

Pisco Sour

Beverages | Pisco Sour Image

(Chilean-Peruvian brandy cocktail)

Pisco is a type of brandy made from muscat grapes that is found in Peru and Chile. Even though it is named after Peruvian town, both countries claim the pisco sour as their national drink. Read more »