Asian immigrants in Peru, mainly Chinese and Japanese, make up 5% to 7% of the total population, which in proportion to the general population is one of the largest in the entire Latin American nation.
The idiosyncrasy of Peruvian cuisine is based on different aspects. Peru has a significant population of Japanese origin. Specifically, these displacements began at the end of the nineteenth century, when the country of the Rising Sun and Peru signed a treaty to alleviate the demographic crisis of the former by providing the labor necessary for the estates of the latter.
The first ship arrived in 1899 with 790 workers, and little by little more visited. Single men mostly mixed with the local population, leaving the countryside to move to the cities and opening businesses, especially in Lima.
In general terms, the word Nikkei refers to Japanese emigrants around the world and their descendants.
Eager to maintain their customs, they had to adapt to the means and ingredients available, and that was creating a cuisine of a precise mixture, with its personality.
Dishes and ingredients of Nikkei cuisine:
-Rice with crab.
-Raw fish tartars.
-Tempura and exotic ingredients, together with Peruvian raw materials and techniques, are identifying elements of Nikkei cuisine.
China meets Perú
Peru received numerous emigrants of Chinese origin in the 19th and 20th centuries. They began to arrive at work in very harsh conditions of practical slavery. Known as culíes, they moved to the cities and opened shops and restaurants that enthused the local population for their innovative recipes.
The word chifa comes from “chī fàn,” which means “eat rice” in Mandarin, and refers to the culinary style and restaurants that run it equally. The Chinese cultivated their vegetables to have at hand plants typical of their native land. Later, when they achieved freedom, many of them opened inns and restaurants and began to import Chinese raw materials. Thus, they merged and twinned Peruvian techniques and ingredients with their own, and chifa cuisine was born.
-Lomo saltado, an exquisite stir-fry beef, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes marinated in soy sauce.
-Pollo enrollado, flattened chicken breast stuffed with vegetables or pork, rolled and fried or sautéed.
-Arroz chaufa especial, fried rice featuring Chinese vegetables with your choice of hard-boiled quail eggs, shrimp, or other meat.
A gastronomy that in recent years, at the hands of renowned chefs, has become known throughout the world and has reached haute cuisine, being developed to the highest level.
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