Peruvian cuisine is one of the most popular right now, this is because many experts have recognized Perú as one of the World’s Best Culinary Destination. Perú can show you so many different dishes created with multiples and incredible ingredients, this country has so much to offer, especially with all the gastronomy and interesting flavors that each region has.
15 typical Peruvian foods
All these dishes are a great way not just to know new flavors, but also to discover the culture that accompanies the recipe since many of these have incredible traditions around them. Check 15 of the best dishes that the South-American country offers!
Here you can find some of the best spices from the country reunited to give a punch of flavor. It also has its roots on the Chinese stir-frying technique, the meat is marinated with soy, to later chop it into strips that will mix with onions, tomatoes, and aji chilies, and their typical spices. All these ingredients are stir-fried until the meat is cooked; the lomo saltado goes well with tortillas, stuffed on empanadas, or just laid out on a plate.
You can’t say Perú without talking about ceviche, this is their star dish and they are very proud of it. The traditional one is made from raw sea bass, marinated in freshly squeezed lime juice, with sliced onions, chili peppers, salt, and pepper, let rest to marinate for several hours (that way the flavor will explode on your mouth). However, today’s ceviche is served right there with only a few minutes of marinating, the Cevicherías can accompany the dish with a small glass of the marinade called leche de tigre or pantera.
This is considered a street food that you can enjoy while visiting the different cities in this beautiful country. The anticuchos are meat grilled on a stick, the meat can be from diverse types, choose your favorite from chicken to beef (even exotic ones like the heart). The cubes are marinated for several hours with different spices, some vendors possess a special recipe with secrets spices, but the best way to taste anticuchos is to be surprised by them.
The star of this dish is the spicy red chili pepper, ten times spicier than a regular jalapeño, but the recipe allows you to forget the hot sensation. The pepper is stuffed with a mix of ground beef, onions, garlic, raisins, herbs, and spices, topped with queso fresco and baked in an egg-and-milk sauce. The sauce helps with the spicy flavor and to put together all the ingredients, its originally from Arequipa Region and the city is proud of it.
It is no surprise that Peruvians can enjoy a good dish of alpaca, this animal is very famous in the region. Their meat is lower in fat and cholesterol than regular beef, for that reason is pretty normal to find its steaks at good restaurants with their many different selections of potatoes.
Pollo a la brasa
Just like ceviche, you will find a chicken rotisserie restaurant everywhere in Perú, pollo a la brasa is so popular that it has become the normal lunch practically for every day. Traditionally, the chicken is marinated with herbs, garlic, and spices before being roasted, but these days it is plainer because of the many restaurants out there.
Ají de gallina
Most of the Peruvian cuisine consists in sauces, this one is made from ají amarillo (less hot than the red one) mixed with cream, ground walnuts, and cheese to create a creamy sauce that goes along the chicken served with rice, potatoes, and black olives. You will find this dish in every Peruvian restaurant, so give it a try!
A layered famous dish easy to find in every city from the country, and in different Peruvian restaurants around the world. This dish starts with a base of mashed potatoes combined with lime, oil, and ají amarillo, then a layer of tuna, salmon, or chicken is placed, followed by a layer of avocado, hard-boiled eggs, and olives. Repeat the layers until the dish show the desired thickness, normally is served as a casserole, but that will depend on the place.
This dish was created by African slaves during the colonial time, made by leftovers. A mixture of rice, lentils, onions, and spices form a pancake that can be served as a single dish, or as the companion to other dishes like lomo saltado. It can also be served in small portions as an appetizer with different ingredients, just pick your favorite.
Chupe de camarones
Soups are also a big part of the Peruvian cuisine, you can find many different soup dishes in every Peruvian restaurant. In Arequipa, one of the most famous soups is the chupe de camarones, a thick one made with fresh river shrimp, potatoes, corn, and peas. These ingredients are mixed with queso fresco, evaporated milk, herbs, and spices to form a creamy soup, topped with fried eggs, creating a powerful and filling dish.
The top drink on Perú is chicha morada: everywhere you go in the country, it will be normal to find the drink, and in the restaurants is typical to get a jar of it. The drink is prepared with purple corn, pineapple, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar, making it a refreshing drink. It’s also one of the oldest recipes in the country; according to the Peruvians, is dated back to the Inca empire.
If you’re looking for something sweet, this dish will help you crave that desire. The picarones are a type of doughnut made from a mixture of flour, yeast, sugar, local squash, and sweet potato. After the dough has rested and risen, it is cut into small pieces that are formed into the doughnuts; then they are fried in hot oil until they get the golden brown look. Usually, they are served with a sweet and spicy syrup. While you feel that crispy bite on the outside, they are very doughy in the inside.
Papas a la huancaína
Originally, this dish comes from Huancayo city but now is pretty famous in the entire country and others too. It consists of potatoes topped with a creamy sauce and hard-boiled eggs, the sauce contains evaporated milk, garlic, queso fresco, and ají amarillo. It can be served with salted crackers, but even when it is not aesthetically pretty, the flavor compensates with a punch of hot but creamy sensation.
Suspiro de limeña
This dessert presents a sweet but luscious flavor for everyone that tastes it. The name has an interesting meaning “the sigh of a woman from Lima,” and it is normally served in individual glasses, but it can also be prepared for a large crowd. The base of this dessert is dulce de leche (which comes from sweetened condensed milk slowly heating), then you have layers made from egg yolks and tons of sugar, finally topped with meringue sprinkled with cinnamon.
Also known as guinea pig, this dish a classic among the Andean Cuisine. The people that have tasted it say that its flavor is quite similar to the rabbit. Typically, the cuy is baked and served as a whole dish; just like turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is accompanied with potatoes and rice or a creamy sauce.
These dishes are part of the traditional cuisine that brings many stories to the table, you can learn so much from their culture just by eating them. If you have the chance of visiting the country, try all of them! But, for now, come to 1111 Peruvian Bistro, we are waiting for you to visit us and enjoy the different dishes we prepare with the best quality for the taste of our commensals.
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