It’s just not possible to collate a list of Peruvian foods without mentioning their national dish. Raw fish is ‘cooked’ using the acidity of a sort of marinade made up of lime juice, chili, onion and salt. For sides, you should expect sweet potato, boiled corn (choclo), or corn kernels that have been dry-roasted to perfection (or all of the above!).
- Lomo Saltada
In the mid-1800s, Chinese immigrants introduced their cooking techniques to Peruvians. Lomo Saltada is the most incredible mix of the Asian-inspired stir-frying technique and Peruvian ingredients. Ingredients include meat (either beef or alpaca), chili, onion, tomato and soy sauce all blended together in a frenzy of mouth-watering flavours. This is the most popular meat dish in Lima – and for good reason.
Perhaps not for the super-squeamish, sitting down to eat this dish (pronounced “kwee”) means you’re about to eat guinea pig. This is one of the two most popular types of meat in the Andean region (the other being alpaca), and traditionally it’s cooked over an open fire after being stuffed with a selection of local herbs, served whole (usually with its head still on) with potatoes.
- Rocoto Relleno
It might look like your run-of-the-mill red bell pepper, but don’t be fooled! Rocoto peppers pack a pretty intense punch – up to 10 times hotter than your average jalapeno. It’s prepared by boiling to reduce its ridiculous spice level, then stuffed with spiced ground beef, garlic, onions, olives and raisins, with queso fresco cheese on top. It’s then baked until perfection and served to you whole.
There are two types of produce that are incredibly plentiful in Peru; potatoes and avocadoes. This beloved dish is created by first mashing yellow potatoes and mixing it with aji Amarillo sauce, lime and oil. This is layered on top of (or beneath) avocado like a type of casserole. There can be several other ingredients used including a chicken and mayo mix, tuna or salmon as well as hardboiled eggs and olives.