What are the most representative Peruvian dishes according to their cuisine? Many Peruvians claim that ceviche is undoubtedly their flagship dish, but with a list of 50 Peruvian meals, we must consider certain factors such as origin, taste, and presentation.
Peruvian cuisine possesses one of the most comprehensive culinary fusions due to various influences that encompass culture, religion, customs, people, among others. With the incorporation of Spanish products, Peruvian desserts and Creole cuisine were born. The fusion of Chinese ingredients such as vegetables and spices gave rise to Peruvian-Chinese cuisine known as «chifa.» The arrival of Italians introduced pasta and gave rise to one of the most demanded products during Christmas, «El paneton.» Not to mention that Peru is divided into the Coast, Highlands, and Jungle, and each region contributes different ingredients that, due to climate adaptation, cannot be easily found in other regions.
To talk about Peruvian food, we must go back to the Inca era with the cultivation and domestication of animals. It was during this time that the foundations of our gastronomy were laid, combining various native products such as the aforementioned ceviche, called «siwichi,» where the preparation was somewhat similar but using other ingredients such as tumbo, a fruit used for cooking fish. Another dish that has prevailed in its preparation method is «pachamanca,» where meats and tubers are placed on hot stones in a hole covered with banana leaves and buried with earth, resulting in tender and juicy meat. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most delicious dishes that maintains its tradition.
In 1532, Francisco Pizarro arrived in Peruvian territory, bringing along the incorporation of new products that fused with native ingredients. The use of sugarcane was essential for the creation of new Peruvian desserts, and other products such as vegetables and grains became fundamental to the point where rice serves as a side dish in almost all Peruvian dishes nowadays.
Recognitions to Peruvian Cuisine
Peru was distinguished for the second consecutive year, and for the tenth time, at the 2022 World Travel Awards (WTA) as the «Leading Culinary Destination in the World.»
Another great recognition that fills Peruvians with pride is the famous Michelin star.
The restaurant «Lima» in London, led by chef Virgilio Martínez, was the first Peruvian restaurant to hold one of the prestigious Michelin stars.
Another Michelin recognition goes to the restaurant «Pakta» in Barcelona, led by chef Albert Adria.
Lastly, the restaurant «Víctor Gutiérrez» located in Salamanca, Spain, led by chef Víctor Gutiérrez, also received a Michelin star.
The 10 most representative Peruvian dishes
Here, we will present you with the 10 most emblematic dishes, both nationally and internationally. List of Peruvian recipes at comococinar.pe
Ceviche de pescado (Fish Ceviche)
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Serves: 3 people
Fish Ceviche ingredients
- 450 g lisa fish
- 3 onions
- 1 whole garlic head
- Aji limo (Peruvian chili pepper)
- Whole culantro (coriander)
- 8 limes
- 1 teaspoon of Ajinomoto (seasoning)
- 1 tbsp fresh milk (optional)
- Sweet potato
- Corn on the cob
- Salt to taste
- Toasted corn kernels (cancha)
Start by thoroughly washing the huayro potato (set aside). In a pot, place the potatoes and add enough water to cover them. In this recipe, we will use lisa fish and make thin cuts (clean fillets only) into cube-shaped pieces (set aside). We will prepare a stock for the ceviche using celery stalk, 6 pieces of fish, ginger, 1 garlic clove, and 1 onion. Put everything in a pot with water and let it cook for about 30 minutes (set aside). Now, let’s prepare the base for the ceviche using a small onion, celery stalk, a garlic clove, peeled ginger, aji limo (optional for spiciness), about 7 pieces of fish, and a culantro stalk (without leaves, only the stalk). Place them in a blender and add the prepared stock (cold) until it covers the ingredients, then blend it. Once blended, strain it to remove any lumps (optional, it can also be served unstrained) – set aside. Slice the onion into thin strips, soak it in water for 5 minutes, and repeat the process 3 times to remove the bitterness from the onion. Finely chop the culantro leaves. Dice the aji limo into small pieces (optional if you like it spicy). Combine everything in a large bowl, add the fish pieces, season with salt to taste, and sprinkle Ajinomoto (seasoning). Mix well to let the fish absorb the flavors. Add aji limo, chopped culantro, and the juice of about 8 limes (use a strainer to avoid seeds). Mix and taste, adjusting the seasoning with salt if needed. Add the blended base mixture. Add the sliced onion. Optional: add 1 teaspoon of fresh milk and mix. Serve with lettuce, boiled sweet potato, boiled corn on the cob, and toasted corn kernels (cancha).
Lomo Saltado (Stir-Fry Beef)
Ingredients for three people: 300 g tender beef or steak, 1/2 kg pink potatoes, 2 tomatoes, 2 onions, 1 whole yellow chili pepper, green onions, soy sauce (sillao), oyster sauce (optional), 1 tbsp minced garlic, beef broth, pepper, chopped parsley, vinegar, salt to taste, oil.
Preparation: Fry the cut potatoes in batons with plenty of oil to prevent them from burning (set aside). Cut the beef into medium to small pieces and season with salt and pepper to enhance the flavor. Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the seasoned beef and let it sear for a few minutes. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic and flambe while the beef slowly sears in the oil. Next, add the yellow chili pepper in long strips, followed by the onions. Keep stirring, but avoid cooking the onions for too long as they should retain a crunchy texture. Drizzle a little vinegar and soy sauce, which will add flavor and color to the dish. Add the tomatoes cut into strips. Optionally, add some oyster sauce. Pour a bit of beef broth to make the preparation juicier. Finally, add the green onions. Keep stirring and flambe the dish on high heat to prevent overcooking. The onions should have a golden color and a crispy texture. Cook for just a few minutes, depending on the stove and heat. To finish, serve the dish hot with rice and the fried potatoes, garnished with cilantro leaves.
Papa a la Huancaína (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce)
Ingredients for six people: 1 kg white potatoes, 1 onion, 4 yellow chili peppers, 220 g cheese, 6 packs of soda crackers, oil, 1 can of evaporated milk, 150 g olives, salt to taste, lettuce, boiled eggs.
Preparation: Heat oil in a frying pan, then add the previously washed yellow chili peppers, cut into long pieces with the seeds/veins removed. Also add the onion, cut into medium-sized pieces, and fry for about 5 minutes. Once fried, transfer the mixture to a blender and add the cheese, soda crackers, milk, a drizzle of oil, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt. Check the consistency of the sauce; if it is too thin, add more soda crackers, and if it is too thick, add more milk to achieve a balanced texture. Adjust the salt as needed, considering the saltiness of the cheese (set aside). It’s time to plate the dish. Wash 2 lettuce leaves and place them at the bottom of the plate. Add boiled potatoes on top and cover them with the Huancaina sauce. For decoration, add half a slice of boiled egg and an olive. Enjoy your meal!
Ají de Gallina (Creamy Chicken)
Ingredients for four people: 1 chicken breast, 4 rolls, 1 cup milk, 2 celery stalks, 1 leek, 2 onions (small and large), 50 g pecans, 4 tbsp yellow chili paste, 2 eggs, 50 g olives, oil, salt to taste.
Preparation: In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the chicken breast, celery stalks (without leaves), leek (white part), half of a small onion, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Let it boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken breast from the pot and shred it. Set aside the cooking liquid. In a bowl, place the rolls cut into small pieces and add 2 cups of the chicken broth and 1 cup of milk. Mix well to soak the bread. Transfer this mixture to a blender, add the pecans, and blend for less than 1 minute. Set aside. In a pot, heat a drizzle of oil. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Then add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, add the 4 tablespoons of yellow chili paste without spiciness and sauté for 3 minutes. At this point, add the reserved blended mixture and stir constantly for a few minutes until it thickens slightly. Then add the shredded chicken and mix to combine all the ingredients. Adjust the salt and cook for just 1 more minute. It is ready to be served. Serve with a portion of white rice, slices of boiled potatoes, half a boiled egg, and some olives. Enjoy your meal!
Arroz con pollo (Rice With Chicken)
Ingredients for six people: 1 kg rice, 6 chicken pieces, 1 cup ground cilantro, 1 red bell pepper, 2 carrots, 1 large onion, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 kg peas, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp yellow chili paste, 1 cup dark beer, 1 tsp pepper, 1 cup corn kernels, salt to taste, oil.
Preparation: Heat a drizzle of oil in a pot. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sear them on both sides for 5 minutes (set aside the chicken). Now, add a finely chopped onion to the same pot where you seared the chicken and sauté it for 4 minutes. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, add half a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of pepper, and let it cook for 2 more minutes. Add the yellow chili paste and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the ground cilantro, mix to combine the ingredients, and let it cook for 3 minutes. Add a tablespoon of salt for flavor. Return the chicken pieces to the pot (avoid stirring too much to prevent them from falling apart). Pour half a cup of beer and let it cook for a couple of minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Add enough water to cover the chicken pieces. Cover the pot and let it cook over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the time has passed, remove the chicken pieces and add the rice (previously rinsed). Add the corn kernels, peas, carrots (cut into small cubes), and the bell pepper cut into long strips. Mix to combine the ingredients. Pour the remaining half cup of beer and add a little water (the water level should be about one finger above the rice). Adjust the salt since water has been added. Cover the pot and let the rice and vegetables cook over low heat for about 18 minutes. Serve each plate with its respective chicken piece. You can also serve it with a side of criolla sauce and delicious huancaína potatoes.
Pachamanca a la tierra (Earth Pachamanca)
A delicious Peruvian Andean dish that incorporates various meat products along with tubers and vegetables, all slow-cooked to achieve perfect doneness. This is a version of the traditional earth Pachamanca, which is traditionally served with «ocopa» sauce and a portion of «humitas» (corn tamales).
Causa limeña (Potato Casserole)
A delicious Peruvian dish that is typically served as an appetizer. Its filling can vary as it can be made with chicken, tuna, prawns, or simply vegetables.
Aguadito is an ideal dish for the cold season. This dish involves seasoning, sautéing chicken pieces, and cooking rice, resulting in a rich concentration of all the ingredients.
Rocoto relleno (Stuffed Spicy Peppers)
Despite being made with rocoto, which is spicy, this dish is not spicy at all and is perfect for both adults and children. It includes a filling dressing and external ingredients that enhance the flavor.
Coctel de Machu Picchu (Machu Picchu Cocktail)
This is the flagship drink of Peru, named after our Peruvian wonder in Cusco. Its preparation consists of 3 colors that represent the Tahuantinsuyo.
Here are the top 40 acclaimed dishes
After mentioning the 10 most representative dishes of Peruvian cuisine, it’s time to present the list of dishes that, despite not being among the top 10, are very popular within Peruvian gastronomy.