Ceviche

Ceviche is a simple dish typically made from fresh raw local  fish or any form of seafood which are marinated with the use of citrus juices like lime or lemon. You can opt to add chili peppers and seasonings like onion and salt. The dish is not cooked with heat rather with the citrus marinade. It’s served with avocado, sweet potatoes, lettuce or corn. You can try this dish at any region of the country however they are quite popular in the northern coast of Peru

Chupe de Camarones (Shrimp Cioppino)

On a recent visit to the coast of  Peru I tried chupe de camarones – or shrimp chowder. This traditional dish  is stock soup of crayfish mixed with potatoes, chili pepper and milk. It reminded me a Thai soup and I was certain there was some Asian influence.  This is a classic Peruvian shrimp chowder is indeed  a meal in itself

Papas a la huanciana (huancayo-style Potatoes)

Dont be mis-led by its name, the origins of this popular dish lie in a region called Chosica in Lima and not Huancayo. We were served this almost every meal, when Miro and I stayed with our host Peruvian family when we first arrived in Lima. And we were hooked. The dish is named after a Huancaina (a person who hails from Huancayo) who first made this dish available to the people. (Thank you!!) It’s a simple dish made of potatoes boiled, sliced and served on a lettuce leaf. It is then topped with a hearty serving of spicy cheese.

Pollo a la Brasa (Grilled chicken or roaster chicken)

Pollo a la Brasa is a classic Peruvian rotisserie-style chicken that’s quite flavorful. It is one of the most eaten dish in Peru finds  its origins in the capital city, here in  Lima. Pollo a la brasa has been declared by Peru’s National Institute of Culture “a culinary specialty” and is used by Peru’s census agency, the INEI to  calculate the country’s monthly inflation.   Here is Peru, there’s even a  “Day of Pollo a la Brasa” which is the third Sunday in July.   It’s that important.  Pollo a la brasa is  chicken that’s been marinated with many Peruvian ingredients (plus a little  soy sauce), then roasted in a special brick lined rotisserie that is fired up with mesquite charcoal. Simple and oh, so delicious.

Anticuchos

This is Miro’s contribution as I have never tasted this. Anticuchos is food very popular in the streets of Peru, which is where Miro has tasted it. In essence, it’s marinated grilled beef hearts served on a stick. He liked it, that should say a lot, since he’s not a big meat-eater.

Lomo Saltado

LomoSaltado can be found in every region throughout the country. It is a platter with sautéed onions, tomatoes and beef served with either french fries or rice, or sometimes both.LomoSaltado a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian flavors, which  in Peru is referred to as “Chifa” cuisine. What makes the meal so special is the wine used for sauté which provides a rich unique flavor.

Cuy Chactado

Cuy is another traditional dish recommend to try while in Peru.  (Full disclosure: We haven’t tried it. Somehow, Miro and I can’t get over eating a former pet, but it’s a national favorite, so I thought I’d list it here. ) Cuy was believed that this cuisine originated from the Antiplano region. This dish is a guinea pig which I suspect tastes EXACTLY like chicken or rabbit. It’s usually offered barbecued or baked and served with hot sauce. It’s traditionally served on special occasions here in Peru,  so let’s party!!!

Causa

And for my absolute favorite (besides ceviche of course):  Causa is one of the most popular dishes all along Peru’s coast, including Lima. Besides being delicious, the traditional causa is fairly economic and easy to prepare. It includes potatoes with local spices, (remember all the potatoes here in Peru?), tuna from the ample Pacific Coast, and Peru’s plentiful supply of avocados. There are many variations both in the purée and in the fillings.