Peru is a South American haven if it’s for travel, culture, and food. The country boasts more than 30 microclimates, ranging from the snowcapped Andes to the Amazonian tropical forest. Various crops are grown in Peru due to the country’s ecological and climatic diversity, including quinoa, potatoes, and cacao. It’s known for its diverse cuisine, including Ceviche, Aji de Gallina, Lomo Saltado, and more. Here are some of the most famous Peruvian food dishes you should try one day:
In Peruvian cuisine, Ceviche is probably one of the top three most popular dishes (see featured images above). It consists of raw fish, which has been marinated in citrus juices and spiced with various herbs and spices. Ceviche is a refreshing dish served cold, and people enjoy it year-round.
Most people serve Ceviche as an appetizer or main course with accompaniments such as corn nuts and sweet potato chips (Camote Frito). The fish used for Ceviche can be any fresh catch, including tuna, salmon, snapper, or shrimp. The vegetables used to make the marinade include finely diced red onions, scallions, and tomatoes; you may also add chilies such as jalapeños, depending on how much spice you like in your food! Here’s a great Ceviche recipe.
2. Aji de Gallina
Aji de Gallina is a traditional Peruvian food composed of chicken, potatoes, and Aji Amarillo (a yellow pepper). This dish may sound odd, but it’s delicious! Aji Amarillo gives the sauce its bright color. The word “gallina” refers to the chicken in this recipe, which means “hen” in Spanish.
Aji de Gallina is very popular in Peru. You can find it on many restaurant menus. When served at parties or special gatherings, it’s often accompanied by bread or crackers as an appetizer before the main course arrives.
3. Lomo Saltado
Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian dish often served as a main course. It consists of seasoned beef strips stir-fried with onions and tomatoes. The common way to make it is to first marinate the meat in soy sauce, garlic, cumin, and other spices before cooking. You can serve Lomo Saltado with rice or French fries.
4. Causa Limeña
Causa Limeña is a dish of mashed potatoes with chicken and avocado, usually served with a salad and a spicy sauce. It’s a traditional dish from Lima, and people typically serve it as an appetizer.
Anticuchos are popular street food in Peru, and you’ll probably see it on every corner of every city you visit there. They are grilled meat skewers, usually served with a spicy peanut sauce and often served as an appetizer. Anticuchos can be made with beef, chicken, or pork and people serve it with rice. The name comes from the Quechua word “Anti Kuchu,” which means “Eastern-style cuts” of meat. Here’s a tasty Anticuchos recipe.
6. Rocoto Relleno
Rocoto Relleno is a traditional Peruvian dish served in Lima and Ayacucho. It’s a roasted pepper stuffed with ground beef, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and olives. The rocotos are filled with this mixture, then put back in the oven until they look golden outside. You can serve it with rice and salad.
If you’re looking for some variety in your next meal at a Peruvian restaurant or cooking it yourself at home—or if you want to try something new—this recipe will make an excellent addition to your culinary repertoire!
7. Arroz con Pollo
Finding a Peruvian restaurant that does not serve rice with chicken (arroz con pollo) is almost impossible. It’s composed of rice cooked in chicken broth, garlic, onion, and tomato sauce. The rice is usually served with pieces of chicken and sometimes peas, carrots, or corn kernels. It is often garnished with cilantro leaves on top and can be topped with a fried egg!
If you are looking for a vegetarian option, many arroz con pollo variations are available without meat, such as Arroz Verde (green).
Picarones are a traditional Peruvian dessert made with sweet potato, sugar, and cinnamon. People usually serve it with a sweet caramel sauce or a simple syrup of water and sugar. This dish is trendy in Peru, especially during Christmas time.
Picarones are usually eaten alone but can also be accompanied by ice cream or Manjar Blanco (a milk-based delicacy).
You can make some Peruvian dishes at home; these are easier to make once you find the right ingredients and recipes.
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