Typical food of Peru: all the main dishes

Peruvian cuisine has about 500 typical dishes today. The gastronomy of Peru is the result of a fusion with Spanish gastronomy, some customs brought by the slaves of sub-Saharan Africa and the Chinese, Japanese and Italian immigrants who arrived during the 19th century.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Chiclayana rice

Name to chiclayana It comes from the city where this dish was created: Chiclayo, northwest of Peru. Chiclayo is one of the most popular cities in which to enjoy Peruvian cuisine in all its essence.

Specifically, the Chiclayana rice recipe can be made with chicken, duck or any other type of meat. Among the essential ingredients is the pumpkin squash grated, green peas, chicha de jora or black beer and tied with coriander.

Chiclayana rice

The pumpkin loche is a native pre-Columbian product of the area and is usually used in a large number of dishes. It is grown in the valleys of Túcume, Íllimo, Mórrope, Ferreñafe, Pítipo, Monsefú and Pimentel. It is estimated that its use in the food diet dates back to the first civilizations that inhabited this area.

Peruvian Chaufa Rice

Chaufa rice recipe is among the essentials of Peruvian cuisine. It consists of fried rice mixed with various types of meat and soy sauce. Actually, the dish is based on Chinese cuisine, since it was brought to the country by chinese chefs that were settled in the country from the nineteenth century.

Peruvians began to make reference to the Cantonese food that was being introduced in the country under the term of chifa, origin of the denomination chaufa That gives name to this rice dish. In short, chaufa rice is the result of the fusion between Chinese and Peruvian food that took place at that time.

Peruvian Chaufa Rice

Legend has it that this delicious dish began to gain fame from the moment a senior Chinese official visited Peru and was entertained by the authorities with a plate of chaufa rice. The official liked this dish, noting that it was an exquisite Peruvian dish, when in fact it had been the work of Chinese chefs who had migrated to Peru.

Peruvian Chicken Rice

As simple as the name may seem, chicken rice is a traditional Peruvian recipe. Green looking, it's a dish very tasty due to the variety of ingredients that it includes. Thus, it is seasoned with a bramble of onions, which greatly enhances the flavor.

Chicken rice cooked in Peru has many similarities with the famous Valencian paella, one of the quintessential symbols of Spanish cuisine. In Ecuador, there is the call yellow rice, a very original dish in which the yellow color of rice is achieved through the use of achiote. In Colombia, it is known as frayed chicken rice.

In Peru, this international dish is added coriander, one of the most used ingredients in Peruvian cuisine. In addition, cilantro dyes the dish a slightly greenish color, which makes a difference with respect to chicken rice consumed in other countries.

Peruvian Chicken Rice

Cau Cau

This dish of so original denomination is another of the main ones of the Peruvian gastronomy and consists of a mixture of chicken mondongo With yellow potatoes Potatoes attract attention because of the way they are cut, that is, in small squares. They are cooked with yellow pepper, parsley, onion and garlic.

Chicken Mondongo It is the name used in many Latin American countries to refer to cow guts. In Spain, they are known as “corns,” while in other Latin American countries names such as guatita, pancita, often or mishque gut are used.

The cau-cau: typical Peruvian dish

There are several theories to explain the name of the dish. One is the one that says that it comes from the Quechua words dog (trifle) or acacau (hot).

For others, it is due to nineteenth-century Chinese immigrants, who said Cau Cau to indicate that the ingredients should be cut in very small portions. Others simply consider that cau It is an adaptation of the English word cow, that is to say, cow.

Cause to Lima

The Peruvian dish known as cause to Lima Or simply, cause It is another of the most representative of Peruvian cuisine. Its origin is prior to the Colombian era, since formerly it was prepared in Peru based on yellow potatoes, kneading it and mixing it with crushed chili pepper.

At present, the following ingredients are needed to prepare the Lima cause: Peruvian yellow potato, chili, lettuce, lemon, boiled egg, avocado and black olives. However, there are those who add other ingredients (eg mayonnaise or tuna) or obviate some of those mentioned above, since it is a dish that admits various variants.

The cause name comes from the Quechua language, specifically from the term kausaywhose literal meaning is food or necessary sustenance. This name was also given to the yellow potato.

Cause to Lima

According to another theory, the name is due to the time of the viceroyalty (XVI-XIX centuries), when the liberator José de San Martín asked to support "the cause" by buying this dish in order to cover the expenses of the military campaign. It is estimated that it was at this time when the set was left with the name of cause.

Peruvian ceviche

The ceviche, also written cebiche, seviche or sebiche (all forms accepted by the SAR), is a dish originally from Peru, but whose great success has crossed borders and is currently typical in almost all the Latin American countries of the Pacific coast, such as Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua …

In Peru, ceviche is not merely a typical dish, but a sign of national identity that, in fact, has been declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation. Although consumed throughout the entire country, it is especially popular to the north. It is traditionally served in a restaurant known as cevichería.

Three types of Peruvian ceviche

The basic ingredients of any dish of Peruvian ceviche are chopped fish, onion and juice. Lemon Piurano from the Tamborgrande Valley. In relation to that last ingredient, it is said that ceviche is originally from the city of Piura.

For the dressing, several citrus fruits are used to taste, although the most common are the lemon piurano and the acid lime. However, in Ancient Peru, specifically after the arrival of the first Spaniards, sour orange and onion were added, two typical ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine. Chopped cilantro and a sweet potato or cassava garnish are also added.

Choritos a la chalaca

Choro It is the common name given to an edible mollusk of the mussel family native to South America, where it can be found mostly on the coasts of Peru and Chile. In the latter country, it is known as cholga or cholgua.

The chorla a la chalaca is prepared with raw peppers, chopped tomatoes and onions, lemon juice and boiled corn kernels. This is the traditional recipe of Shut up, a coastal city located in the central-western coast of Peru, where fish and shellfish are essential foods for its inhabitants.

Choritos a la chalaca

As you can see in the photo, they are prepared in the choro valve itself, which are previously macerated with lemon juice. It is also used, as in many other Peruvian dishes, chili or rocoto chopped into small squares. Some recipes also include the use of corn (sweet corn).

Shrimp soup

Shrimp suck is one of the most emblematic dishes of Peruvian cuisine. One of the advantages of this delicious dish is that it can be served both as a first or as a second dish, since it is a hearty food That can give for many diners.

Broadly speaking, the pacifier of shrimp is a fish soup, but you must use the necessary ingredients in the right amount as dictated by the original recipe to be a real Peruvian shrimp pacifier.

The ingredients include fresh shrimp (including the shells, since the broth is made with them), Andean potatoes, a little white cheese, corn, garlic, tomato, onion, rice, eggs, coriander, a pinch of oregano and a little Peruvian yellow pepper.

Peruvian shrimp suck

Stuffed Empanadas

Baked Peruvian empanadas are prepared with an easily crumbly dough, which is filled with a stew based on meat, vegetables and various spices, such as paprika, cumin, yellow pepper, etc. The most commonly used meats are beef and chicken.

With regard to vegetables, the most common are potatoes, coriander, onion and corn kernels. Depending on who prepares it, these vegetables may vary, since the filled empanadas recipe is very open to the imagination.

Stuffed empanadas typical of Peru

The method of cooking is in the oven and the form that is usually given to empanadas is also very varied. They can be square, rectangular, triangular, rounded, crescent-shaped … However, the most viewed are these last two.

There are some variants in which fillings such as chicken chili, sauteed loin or pork rinds are included, although these ingredients are not part of the original Peruvian stuffed pie recipe, but are the result of the arrival of immigrants from various parts of the world to Peru.


Peruvian marinade is a dish that can be consumed both in family gatherings and during the week, mainly because it can be consumed cold or hot And be equally delicious. Its basic ingredients are pickled or yellow pepper, a lot of vinegar and onion.

Peruvian marinade

Usually, the marinade is prepared with chicken. In addition, other ingredients such as garlic, ground chili pepper, yellow chili pepper, cumin, olive oil, hard boiled eggs, botija olives, oregano, red vinegar, sweet potatoes and lettuce are added.

So that the result is optimal and according to the traditional Peruvian recipe, the first thing to do is season the chicken with salt and pepper, then boil it in water with vinegar and salt, drain the chicken and finally fry it in oil.

Peruvian Juane

The juane or juan is one of the most representative dishes of the Peruvian jungle cuisine, specifically the city of Santiago and Moyobamba. It is especially typical during the festival of San Juan, held every June 24.

There are several versions of the juane, although the original is based on Yucca, rice and chicken. However, other versions are the traditional juan, the special, the chonta, wasp juane, nina juane or sara juane, among others.

Peruvian Juane

It is called juane or Juan in honor of Saint John the Baptist and is estimated to be a dish of pre-Columbian origin, although this name was assigned from the arrival of the Spaniards to Inca lands, when the Christian religion began to expand among the natives.

The history of the juane is not clear, but it is estimated that it was a food usually made for travelers, since it has the advantage of being stored for long periods of time without breaking down or altering the quality of food.

Lomo Saltado

The sauteed loin is a dish that dates back to the 19th century, when it was known by various denominations (e.g. beef tenderloin, jumped tenderloin or chorrillana loin). This dish, like chaufa rice, is heavily influenced by Chinese-Cantonese cuisine.

Lomo saltado typical of Peru

This influence of the oriental cuisine It is shown above all because it is cooked in a pan, which is why it is called jumped loin. However, there are variants that have emerged over the years, especially in the use of ingredients.

Thus, the traditional recipe incorporates ingredients such as beef, salt, cumin, pepper, green pepper, garlic, red or white vinegar, potatoes, oil, tomatoes and parsley. Sometimes, Sillao and Pisco are added, the latter recognized as one of the most emblematic drinks in Peru.

Toasted court

The toasted court, also known as Court Serrana or court, is nothing other than roasted corn. It is a dish that is usually included in every Peruvian garrison, especially in the area of ​​the Peruvian Andes.

Its preparation is very simple: just heat a clay pot or a pan, add a little butter or oil and fry them with a little salt. The grains, which must be of yellow corn, should be removed without dinner until they acquire a golden appearance.

The court is especially used to accompany dishes such as ceviche or chicharrones. Its consumption in Peruvian Andes dates from the fifteenth century, since they are already mentioned in the Quechua-Spanish Dictionary by González Holguín, published in 1608.


Pachamanca is another of the most traditional dishes of Peru. Ancestral custom dictates that it should be made by cooking beef, pork, chicken and guinea pig in the heat of preheated stones. The meats are precooked with ingredients such as chincho, cumin, chili, huacatay, pepper and various spices.

Name Pachamanca comes from the Quechua language, where pacha it means land and manka equals cooking pot, so it literally means pot of earth and this is the reason why it should be cooked as explained above.

Pachamanca to the pot

Currently, pachamanca is also prepared in a pot, so it is usual to call it pachamanca to the pot. The various meats used are added various vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, cassava, corn and plantain, among others. You also usually add cheese and humitas.

Huancaina's style potato

The potato a la huancaína is one of the most popular dishes of the Peruvian coast and highlands, and in general throughout Peru. However, it is important to be clear that the dish is not originally from Huancayo, as it might seem by name, but from Lime, the capital of Peru.

It is a very simple dish, although the only part that could present a greater degree of difficulty is the preparation of the sauce, which is the distinctive element of this dish. Thus, for its preparation fresh cheese is used, which is mixed with oil, salt, yellow pepper and milk. It is important that all these ingredients are well blended so that they do not have lumps.

It is also important to remove the skin of the chili pepper, since in this way we avoid the appearance of traces of the yellow chili peel. The best way to avoid this is by boiling the chili previously in water for a few seconds.

Huancaina's style potato

As for the presentation, as can be seen in the photo, a lettuce leaf is usually placed at the base of the dish, on top of which some slices of boiled potatoes are added. Finally, it is added sliced ​​hard boiled egg and olives. It can be taken as main or second dish.


As in the case of the pacifier, the parihuela is a soup widely consumed on the coast of Peru. Its ingredients are diverse seafood and fish, which is why it is popularly known as «parihuela raises dead», since it is considered to be a great source of nutrients.

The most frequent types of fish in this dish are the ones mentioned below: cabrilla, corvina or cojinova and machete. These fish are used in particular because their mixture with the different seafood produces this tasty soup so popular in Peruvian cuisine.

Parihuela: Peruvian fish and seafood soup

In fact, the parihuela and its resulting effect on who consumes it is considered as a aphrodisiac, mainly due to its high phosphorus content. Actually, there are those who consider it very similar to the bouillabaisse or bouillabaisse, one of the typical dishes of France, specifically of the Provence region.

Hot itching

Hot piqueo is actually a very popular snack in Peru, where the best can be consumed in Lima, its capital. It is tradition to serve it in a oval fountain and usually the same source is designed for two people.

It is a tradition to add two small shells with salt and alcohol to burn, which is ignited at the time the piqueo is served. Almost all the ingredients included in the piqueo are battered and usually consist of fish such as squid, octopus and sea bass.

Hot itching

It is also usual to add stuffed mushrooms of medium-sized shrimp, to which a touch of grated Parmesan cheese and white wine is added. Finally, they are baked in the oven and placed randomly in various parts of the plate.

Stuffed hot pepper

The stuffed rocoto is a dish of Arequipa origin for which it is used, as its name indicates, rocoto. It is a fruit similar to chili and the size of an apple whose flavor is very spicy, although it is somewhat sweeter than chili.

Due to the use of rocoto, this is a dish considered spicy. The rocotos are filled with Ground beef, peas, olives and fresh cheese. All this is seasoned with cumin and chopped parsley. Once this step is taken, everything is put in the oven and taken hot.

Stuffed hot pepper

In Arequipa, Lima and most Peruvian restaurants, the stuffed rocoto is served with roasted potatoes, which have been baked together with the rocoto. In some versions, the traditional potato cake is added, for which white potato, tumbay or cottage cheese is used.

Carapulcra and dry chinchana soup

The name of chinchana It is because the origin of this dish is the province of Chincha, in the Department of Ica. It is not surprising that this varied dish comes from this area of ​​Peru, since it is one of the places with more miscegenation in the country.

Carapulcra and dry chinchana soup

This dish is the result of a mixture between the ingredients of the Chinese, Italian and Spanish cuisine, among others. It is a kind of stew whose origin dates back to the wedding banquets, where the parents of the groom and the bride competed to be the ones who best entertained the bride and groom. Finally, it was decided to mix everything in a single dish.

Thus, this dish is a symbol of celebration and celebration for which it is used chicken, noodles, chopped onion, cumin, ground achiote, chopped tomato without skin, basil, parsley and olive oil. To make the chinchana carapulcra, you need pig, papa tomasa, ground chili pepper, freshly roasted peanuts and boiled cassava.

Fish Tiradito

The tiradito is made with fresh raw fish cooked with lemon juice. In many areas of Peru, it is considered a cousin of the ceviche dish because of the variety of similarities that exist between them. The most common fish for tiradito are: pejerrey, cojinova, palmerita or parakeet.

Fish Tiradito

However, the main difference with ceviche is that the tiradito has no onion and the fish is cut into thin slices. In fact, it is the way to cut them is very similar to sashimi of typical Japanese food or the carpaccio of Italian cuisine. In addition, the tiradito also eats cold.

Before you start filleting the fish, the first thing to do is macerate the lemon juice with coriander, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley. It is also important to prepare a chili pepper cream, which will give the Peruvian touch to the dish. The chili pepper mixture must be mixed with the lemon juice to finally pour the resulting mixture over the raw fish fillets.

Peruvian Tamale

Tamale is a dish of Native American origin that is prepared in virtually all Latin American countries. Usually, it consists of a corn dough stuffed with meat, vegetables, chili peppers, sauces, fruits … All this is wrapped in corncob leaves, bijao, avocado, maguey or even foil and cooked in water or al steam.

Peruvian Tamale

Specifically, the Peruvian tamale is prepared corn based, although the recipe may vary depending on the area of ​​Peru where it is prepared. Thus, on the Peruvian coast it is stuffed with beef, chicken or pork and egg, olives or peanuts are added. The northerners add coriander, which gives it a very characteristic green color. In the Sierra, the recipe is similar to that of pachamanca.

The result of these variations by region is the existence of several types of tamales: yellow corn wrapped in banana leaves, with white corn or mote, green tamales, dried cornmeal or even sweets (known as humitas). The size may also vary by zones. Thus, in the southern zone they are usually quite large sizes, weighing up to 2 kg.

Tacu tacu

Tacu-tacu is one of the typical dishes of Peru whose origin is due to the Creole food. According to several historians, black slave women took advantage of all the food left over from other dishes to make tacu-tacu (hence their name, which comes from the Quechua term takuy, what does it mean mix one thing with the other).

Tacu-tacu covered with seafood sauce

The traditional recipe indicates that it should be prepared with cooked rice and stew the previous day. All this must be mixed to form a homogeneous dough, which will be heated in a pan. The most common is that the mix includes beans, lentils and pallares. Finally, the dough is fried to make it crispy.

There are several specialties, such as: tacu-tacu of beans, tacu-tacu de pallares, tacu-tacu with sheet (accompanied by breaded steak or a milanesa), tacu-tacu stuffed with seafood, tacu-tacu dipped in seafood sauce, etc.

The preparation of this dish is a common practice among Afro-descendants of various regions of America. Thus, there are very similar dishes in different Latin American countries such as the famous pinto rooster in Nicaragua, the congri in Cuba, the feijoada in Brazilian cuisine or the Moorish rice among the typical dishes of the Dominican Republic.

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