Seven Traditional Peruvian Dishes You Need to Try

Seven Traditional Peruvian Dishes You Need to Try

Here’s a fact for you.

Peruvian gastronomy is globally renowned by food enthusiasts all over the world. So, if you haven’t tried a Peruvian dish, you’re missing out. 

Traditional Peruvian recipes call for locally harvested spices which is why the cuisine has unique and warm flavours. 

The immense cultural diversity of Peru naturally reflects in its cuisine. There are influences of the indigenous population along with the cooking practices from Africa, Asia, and Europe. This unique blend has given Peruvian food a distinctive palate and extensive variations. 

If you’re someone who is food curious, or wants to try Peruvian food for the first time, below is a list of the most popular Peruvian dishes that should be on your must-try list.

Ceviche 

Ceviche is one of the most popular Peruvian dishes. It is considered a part of Peruvian heritage.  Like most other popular Peruvian delicacies Ceviche is served by many eateries, but to taste the authentic richness of the dish, you need to try it at a cervecería in coastal Peru. 

Ceviche is raw fish marinated with fresh lime juice, red onions, salt, and aji chilies. Traditional Peruvian ceviche is served with boiled sweet potatoes or corn. This dish is light and refreshing with a little bit of kick from the aji chillies. 

Lomo Saltado 

This traditional Peruvian dish, similar to Ceviche, is popular to locals. This unique stir-fried beef recipe has Chinese influence because of its cooking methods and use of Chinese flavours. The fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cooking is also known as Chifa. You can find thousands of Chifa restaurants in Lima, Peru alone. 

Lomo saltado is Tender is stir-fried beef with soy sauce, onions, tomatoes and aji peppers.

Traditional lomo saltado is served with French fries and rice. 

Papas a la Huancaina  

Want to try something other than meat and fish? We recommend Papas a la Huancaina. 

This Peruvian potato delicacy is a must try to enjoy the rich variety in Peruvian cuisine. 

This dish is best served as a side. 

The Peruvian potatoes are boiled and diced into medium-thick slices. Milk, cheese, aji chilies, garlic, and saltine crackers are blended to make this yellow-colored creamy puree. This sauce is served on the baked potatoes

Cuy 

A classic Peruvian dish of roasted whole guineapig. In more refined restaurants you may also have it in pieces, instead of it served whole. It is highly popular and can be enjoyed in eateries across the country. 

Traditionally, cuy is stuffed with spices and local herbs. A coat of mixed spices is added to the outside before roasting it on a skewer above an open wood fire. 

The dish is best served with potatoes and aji sauce to bring out the authentic Peruvian flavor. 

Pollo a la Brasa

Pollo a la Brasa or Peruvian roasted chicken is so popular in Peru, that there’s a day of the year devoted to the dish. It’s one of the most ordered dishes in the country.

Pollo a la brasa is a whole chicken marinated in aji paste and warm spices. 

As per traditional practice, the marinated chicken is spit-roasted over a hardwood fire until it’s golden brown. 

Pollo a la brasa is usually served with papas fritas (fries) and Inca Kola. 

Arroz Chaufa Peruano    

This is another popular chifa dish that originated from the fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cooking styles. It’s fried rice with Peruvian elements such as aji peppers and other local spices. 

This dish can be ordered in Chifa restaurants and is usually a great side dish for any main. 

Rocoto Relleno 

Do you love spice? We suggest you try this dish. 

Rocoto Relleno looks like a typical stuffed red bell pepper until you take the first bite. A word of caution: if you’re not a fan of spice, stay away from it. 

The rocoto pepper is at least 10 times spicier than a jalapeno. 

Rocoto Relleno is stuffed with egg, cheese sauce, along with herbs, spices, and ground beef. 

You might get to taste most of the Peruvian dishes at restaurants across the world, but Rocoto Relleno is hard to find beyond the borders of Peru. So, if you can handle the spice, don’t miss giving it a try. 

The Takeaway 

Peruvian cuisine offers a plethora of savory dishes for every foodie out there. All you need is to choose according to your taste. If you don’t mind culinary adventures and enjoy different cultural delicacies, try out all the seven dishes we have covered at the first chance you get.  

If you're looking to try these Peruvian dishes, most of them are served at traditional Peruvian restaurants in Toronto. 

You can try these dishes at: 

Aldo's Restaurant 

Pisac Bistro 

Paracas