What are some traditional Peruvian dishes?

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Introduction to Traditional Peruvian Cuisine

Peruvian cuisine is known for its diverse flavors and unique ingredients. The fusion of indigenous Andean, Spanish, African, and Asian influences has created a rich and varied culinary tradition. From the coast to the highlands, Peruvian cuisine offers a range of dishes that cater to a wide variety of palates. Here are some of the most popular traditional Peruvian dishes that you should try.

Ceviche: A Peruvian Staple Dish

Ceviche is a popular seafood dish that has become one of Peru’s most iconic dishes. It consists of raw fish marinated in citrus juices, chili peppers, onions, and cilantro. The acidity of the lime juice “cooks” the fish, giving it a firm and slightly opaque texture. Ceviche can be served with sweet potato, corn, or avocado, and is typically eaten as a starter or a light lunch. Variations of ceviche can be found throughout Latin America, but the Peruvian version is considered the most authentic.

Lomo Saltado: A Fusion of Peruvian and Chinese Cuisine

Lomo saltado is a classic Peruvian dish that blends Chinese and Peruvian flavors. It consists of strips of beef, onions, tomatoes, and French fries stir-fried in a wok with soy sauce and vinegar. The dish is typically accompanied by rice and is a popular comfort food across Peru. The Chinese influence in Peruvian cuisine dates back to the late 19th century, when Chinese immigrants came to work on the railroads and stayed to open restaurants. Today, Chinese-Peruvian cuisine is a vibrant culinary tradition that reflects the multiculturalism of Peru.

Ají de Gallina: A Creamy and Spicy Peruvian Delight

Ají de gallina is a creamy chicken stew that is considered one of Peru’s national dishes. The dish consists of shredded chicken breast that is cooked in a sauce made with ají amarillo (a yellow chili pepper), bread, milk, cheese, and nuts. The sauce is thickened with breadcrumbs, giving it a creamy and slightly sweet texture. Ají de gallina is typically served with boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and olives. The dish is both spicy and sweet, making it a favorite among Peruvians and visitors alike.

Causa Rellena: A Unique Peruvian Potatoes-based Dish

Causa rellena is a cold potato-based dish that is typically served as an appetizer or a light lunch. The dish consists of mashed yellow potatoes that are mixed with lime juice, chili pepper, and oil. The mixture is then layered with a filling of either chicken, tuna, or vegetables, and topped with avocado, olives, and boiled eggs. The dish is then chilled before being served. Causa rellena is a unique dish that showcases the versatility of potatoes, which are a staple ingredient in Peruvian cuisine.

Anticuchos: A Grilled Peruvian Street Food Favorite

Anticuchos are a popular street food that is commonly sold at food carts and street stalls across Lima. The dish consists of skewered and grilled beef heart that is marinated in vinegar, garlic, cumin, and ají panca (a dried chili pepper). The skewers are typically served with boiled potatoes and a spicy sauce made from huacatay (a Peruvian herb) and peanuts. Anticuchos are a delicious and affordable snack that reflects Peru’s vibrant street food culture.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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Can you recommend any Peruvian dishes for those with dairy allergies?

Are there any Peruvian dishes made with alpaca or llama meat?