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Peruvian Recipes

I’ll be adding Peruvian recipes and photos to this page as I go. Put any questions you have or any critiques of the food in the comments section. Thanks!

When cooking Peruvian food, my husband and I use ají pastes preserved in jars. Try your local latino or asian food market. Buy them online at La Bodega Peruana (the Peruvian Market). The weight varies from 7.5 to 8 ounces and the jars look something like this:

jar of Aji Panca paste

photo credit

Ají de gallina
2 cooked shredded chicken breasts (save the water you boil it in)
ají amarillo to taste (I use 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
1 Tbsp of ají panca
4 slices of white bread
1 can of evaporated milk
1 finely chopped red onion (to taste, you don’t have to use the whole onion)
boiled yellow potatoes
hard boiled eggs
black olives
vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a little vegetable oil in a stainless steel pot and cook the onion on very low heat. As the onion becomes translucent, add garlic, salt, pepper, ají amarillo and ají panca. Break apart the bread, mash it into a dish of evaporated milk and add to the pot. At this point, I’ve discovered that I get a creamier result if I put everything into the blender and mix for a minute or two. That way the onion gets completely integrated. It turns out great if you take the time to do this extra step. Pour it from the blender back into the pot. Add shredded chicken breast and a little of the broth (water used to boil chicken). Stir and let it reduce on low heat until it is creamy. If it is too thick you can add more broth. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Taste it to check for saltiness. Serve ají de gallina over yellow potatoes with white rice. Garnish with slices of hard boiled egg and black olives.

Aj� de gallina Aj� de pollo

Ají de gallina

Papa a la huancaína
boiled yellow potatoes
hard boiled eggs
ají amarillo to taste
half cup of evaporated milk
4-6 soda crackers
half cup of vegetable oil
150 grams of fresh hispanic-style salted cheese
salt to taste
black olives
lettuce leaves

Peel and slice potatoes and arrange over lettuce leaves. Use blender to combine ají amarillo, evaporated milk, crackers, oil and cheese. Blend until creamy and adjust for consistency by adding more milk or more crackers. Taste for saltiness. Spoon this cream over potatoes and lettuce and garnish with sliced hard boiled eggs and black olives.

Papa a la Huancaina

papa a la huancaína

Lomo saltado
1 lb beef cut in bite-sized strips
2 tomatoes cut in crescent-shaped pieces
1 red onion cut in crescent-shaped pieces
ají amarillo to taste (about 1 tsp)
red vinegar to taste
chopped fresh cilantro to taste
minced garlic to taste
vegetable or olive oil
french fries
salt and pepper to taste

cooking lomo saltado

Season the beef with salt, pepper and ají amarillo (you can vary the taste with soy sauce, ají panca, Worcestershire sauce, and/or ground cumin). Heat oil in stainless steel pot and pan-fry the beef (Put in a little at a time so that the meat doesn’t boil.) Stir in the garlic. Add the onion, tomato, and a little salt, stirring constantly. Add a little red vinegar. Cook 2-3 more minutes. Add the chopped cilantro. Add cooked french fries (it’s okay if they end up soggy) and stir. Serve immediately with white rice.

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado

Frozen french fries work well in this recipe. Cook them in the toaster oven on the broiler pan. Another way to make french fries is to peel and cut a large yellow potato and fry it in oil. We’ve started making them this way rather than buying them frozen. Just heat about an inch of oil in a stainless steel frying pan. Being careful not to splash, gently slide the cut potato into the oil. When they are brown, take them out with a metal slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Shake a little salt on them while they are still very hot.

french fries

Sopa Criolla
1/2 lb beef cut in bite-sized chunks
1 onion (red or white) finely chopped
1 peeled and diced tomato (or you can use the equivalent canned)
1 Tbsp ají panca
1/4 package angelhair or spaghetti pasta
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 can evaporated milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
rocoto paste (or other hot sauce) to taste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
8 cups water (heat in the meantime)
salt and pepper to taste

Season beef with salt, pepper and garlic. Heat oil in large stainless steel soup pot and pan fry the beef. Add the ají panca, chopped onion, diced tomato, rocoto paste and oregano. Cook until the onion is transparent. Add hot water, bring to a boil and add angelhair pasta. Cook about 3 minutes (if you use spaghetti, it will take longer). Taste for saltiness and add in eggs (beaten beforehand) and evaporated milk. Can be served with toast.

sopa criolla sopa peruana

Sopa Criolla

Ensalada de palta
2 avocados
thinly sliced red onion (to taste)
2 limes
salt and pepper
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh tomatoes
olive oil
rocoto paste

Cut part of a red onion into very thin slices. Rinse the onion in cool water to take away the pungent odor. Cut both limes in half and squeeze the juice into a salad bowl. Soak the onion in the lime juice for at least an hour (but it is even better if you soak it overnight). The red onion slices should end up limp and pink, and their pungency should be nearly eliminated by the soaking. Cut avocados in half lengthwise. Lodge your knife into the seed and twist to extract it. To peel the avocado, slice each half in three pieces and peel each section, keeping the crescent shape intact. Depending on how you want to present your salad you can cut the avocado and onion into smaller pieces. Gently mix the avocado into the salad bowl with the lime juice and onion. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add a little olive oil, fresh chopped cilantro and fresh chopped tomatoes.

ensalada de palta

Ensalada de palta

ensalada de palta

Ensalada de cebolla

Ensalada Rusa

cooked, fresh beets cut into cubes (or you can use canned beets out of season)
carrots cut into cubes
peas (I use frozen)
salt and pepper if you wish

Bring a very small pot of salted water to boil and add fresh carrots, cut into cubes. Add frozen peas and wait until the water returns to boil. Turn the heat down and cover with lid. When carrots and peas are soft, drain the water and add them to serving bowl with beets. Use about two dollops of mayonnaise (I especially recommend the McCormick brand found in the Hispanic foods section) and fold it all together gently. If you use salt when you boil the carrots and peas, you may not need to add any more. It is also nice to add peeled and cubed baby red potatoes or even hard boiled eggs, cut into cubes.

ensalada rusa

Seco de Res
2 lbs (bottom round) beef*
1 chopped red (or yellow) onion
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp ají panca
1 Tbsp ají amarillo
vegetable (or olive) oil
salt, pepper, cumin powder to taste

*Try to buy a cut of quality bottom round with a little marbling for tenderness. We had good luck with meat from Costco. This method of cooking is called braising.

Cut the beef into hunks and season with salt, pepper, cumin powder, and minced garlic (I use the paste). Heat a little vegetable (or olive) oil in a stainless steel soup pot and pan fry the meat. When the meat is seared, add the chopped onion, ají panca, and ají amarillo. Stir until onion becomes translucent.

Rinse the cilantro in water and cut off the bottom few inches from the stems. Chop by hand and transfer to blender. Add about 1/2 to 1 cup water to the blender and reduce the fresh chopped cilantro to liquid.

Add liquid cilantro to soup pot, stir, lower heat and cover with lid. The meat will become tender, cooking in the liquid for at least 20 minutes. Add frozen peas, stir and cook covered another 10 minutes. Serve with white rice.

Seco de Res

Seco de Res

Causa Rellena

6-8 yellow potatoes, boiled
2 Tbsp ají amarillo paste
1 lemon, and salt to taste
1 large chicken breast, boiled
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
half red onion, finely chopped
mayonnaise (the McCormick brand made with lime juice works well)
lettuce leaves, lemon slices, olives, avocado, parsley for garnish

Peel the boiled potatoes while they are still very hot and mash them with a fork on a clean surface. Add the juice of half a lemon, salt, and the ají amarillo and continue mashing. It should form a light, dough-like consistency. If it is not sticking together well, add a little olive oil. In another bowl, mix the cubed onion and celery with salt and juice from half a lemon. Shred the chicken, add it to the bowl and mix with some mayonnaise. In a baking dish, or other similar serving dish, spread out half of the potato mixture. Then spread the chicken mixture on top, and cover with the other half of the potato mixture. Garnish it with Italian parsley leaves, slices of lemon and avocado, black olives and serve each portion on top of lettuce leaves.

Peruvian Causa Rellena

Causa Rellena

Peruvian Causa Rellena

Causa Rellena

Lentejas (lentils)

Lentils are a very cheap food that can be easily prepared. Rinse a 16 ounce bag of lentils in cold water, in the same way that you would wash rice. Use your fingers to stir them in a bowl of cold water and sort out any impurities. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add lentils. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain off the water and separate into thirds (two-thirds can go into the refrigerator). Heat some olive oil in a stainless steel sauce pan and saute chopped red onion, chopped tomato, and about 4 chopped cloves of garlic. When onions become translucent, add pepper and salt and stir in about one-third of the boiled lentils. Serve with white rice. (One-third of the 16 ounce bag will serve 3 or 4 adults).

Peruvian-style lentils lentejas

Pisco Sour

Pisco (a Peruvian liquor)
white sugar (can be made ahead of time into simple syrup)
egg whites
fresh squeezed juice from limes
ground cinnamon

Shake a couple of shots of Pisco with the sugar and lime juice. Add egg whites and shake until frothy. Serve in a wine glass or martini glass, topped with ground cinnamon. You have to play around with the proportions to get it right.

Pisco Sour Peruvian Pisco Peruano

Pisco Sour

. . .

  1. October 27, 2007 10:26 pm

    Yum! As soon as I find some time in my schedule, I am going to have to try some of these!

  2. November 1, 2007 5:07 pm

    I just received my first order from La Bodega Peruana. All the pastes I ordered came individually bubble-wrapped and the package was here in 3 days, as promised. Use them to buy your Peruvian ají panca and ají amarillo. Buen provecho.

  3. refincher permalink
    December 4, 2007 3:38 pm

    I AM GOING TO CRY!!!! This is beautiful. I have searched for ages for from-scratch Peruvian recipes, ever since we left Peru and I was so foolish as to not ask my housekeeper to teach me. And then there is the problem of finding Peruvian herbs and peppers in the US — total needle in a haystack! Sopa a la criolla takes me straight back to Muruhuays’s on the Pan-Andean highway, where my normally impervious-to-hot-stuff husband was reduced to tears from the rocoto merely floating in the soup! You don’t know how to make caldo blanco, do you?

  4. refincher permalink
    December 4, 2007 4:22 pm

    Ooops. it was sopa a la minuta that was hot like hell, come to think of it.

  5. December 4, 2007 11:10 pm

    Is caldo blanco a type of chicken soup? I can look it up for you, or you can click on the link to Peru Food on my sidebar. That guy’s blog is an amazing resource! I think my recipe for Sopa Criolla is actually called Sopa a la Minuta, depending on the family. It might be the same soup, or at least the same basic idea. 🙂 Let me know how it goes if you try making any of these.

    I made ají de gallina tonight and added shredded carrots to the recipe. It was so yummy!

  6. Ginger permalink
    December 27, 2007 11:34 am

    Yum! Your recipes look great. I will try some soon, as soon as I find all of the ingredients.

  7. December 27, 2007 3:49 pm

    Hey Ginger! It’s great to hear from you! 🙂 Let me know how it goes if you make any of these Peruvian dishes.

  8. ara0062 permalink
    January 12, 2008 11:41 pm

    Hi fightingwindmills. Do the Peruvians eat a dish called Elotes? Some of the Hispanics here serve it and I’d like to find a really good recipe for it. I know it has corn, chili powder, mayonnaise with lime, plus some other ingredients in it. I was just curiuos. I can’t seem to find a good recipe, or just dont’ know how to really make it LOL.

    • Jane P. permalink
      April 6, 2009 4:40 pm

      I am happy to see this website! Good recipes for Peruvian food are hard to find. About the elotes: Elote is the Mexican word for corn on the cob. In Mexico it is prepared in the manner you describe. In Peru, ears of corn are called “choclos,” and they are a little different in that they have HUGE kernels. Of course, you can’t often find them here, but any corn will do. Boil the corn in water to which you have added a teaspoon or two of anise seed, whole or ground. Sometimes I also add a couple of chamomile teabags (manzanilla). When they are done, take them out and serve hot or at room temperature with slices of white cheese such as feta or queso fresco. The water in the pot, especially with the anise and chamomile, makes a yummy tea and is supposed to be very good for the digestion.

  9. January 13, 2008 11:52 am

    ara0062, I will ask my husband about that, but since it contains chili powder and corn I bet it comes from Central America. There are also some shops around here that are owned by people from Central America (Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador) so I can ask them. I’ll let you know. 🙂

  10. ara0062 permalink
    January 14, 2008 12:43 am

    Thanks much!!! Plus, I think my Indian boyfriend would probably love it as a dish too! Esp, since he doesn’t eat any beef or pork products…something we could enjoy together!

  11. January 14, 2008 9:32 am

    ara0062, it looks to me like “elote” just means grilled corn on the cob. It is served in Mexico and Guatemala with chili powder, Parmesan cheese and a little mayonnaise with lime juice. I bet if you experiment, you could make it!

  12. ara0062 permalink
    January 14, 2008 12:23 pm

    Okie dokie, thanks, I’ll try it then!

  13. Curious, along with Missy the Cat permalink
    January 14, 2008 5:26 pm

    Just stopping in to say hi and check out the recipes!

    All this talk of elotes is making me hungry…and homesick.

    native Texan

  14. January 16, 2008 5:12 am

    I love Peruvian food. I heard there is a new store coming up on the internet where we can buy Peruvian food related products in USA Lets see!

  15. January 16, 2008 6:59 am

    Looks like someone is trying to get some free advertising on my blog! LOL!

  16. pablo permalink
    January 18, 2008 1:14 am

    Sorry, I did not mean to came across that way. I just wanted to share this on line store for all the peruvian food lovers out there….I just purchase some IncaKolas and ají amarillo and it work out really good….their customer service is really great.


  17. January 18, 2008 9:32 am

    Pablo, sorry about giving you a hard time. I really did assume you were the owner of the website. Thanks for sharing the link to the new store. 🙂

  18. pablo permalink
    January 18, 2008 8:34 pm

    You bet!!!

  19. Pablo permalink
    February 2, 2008 1:41 am

    To every one in the Blog,

    I just came back from a trip to Peru. I went restaurant hopping and the food is just out of this wold….. There is a street called “Avenida La mar” near my aparment in Miraflores where you can find the best gourmet retaurants in town at very reasonable prices. 10 to 20 USD for a meal for two.


  20. Lynn permalink
    February 18, 2008 1:04 pm

    Hi – i cannot believe you had the seco de carne recipe – i’ve been making it for years and didn’t know the proper name – i also didn’t have the peruvian spices but i did the best i could. i am so excited to order the proper ingredients and make it like my ex mother-in-law. She was the best cook! She also made that dish with the potatoes and the eggs and olives – that was off the charts too. i am so happy to have found this website.

    thank you.

  21. February 18, 2008 1:09 pm

    That’s great, Lynn. I really like Peruvian food and I am happy to be able to share what little I know. Thanks for commenting!

  22. March 6, 2008 8:32 pm

    In the recipe book that I use, the ají de gallina is supposed to have a dash of oregano, but I’ve always left it out. Tonight I tried it, and the taste was dominating the entire dish. I would say it is much better without oregano, so that the ají amarillo can be the dominant taste. Tonight’s dinner was a milestone: the first time I’ve cooked a Peruvian dish when my husband isn’t here to eat it.

  23. March 7, 2008 12:19 am

    That looks wonderful, and thank you for your great advice!!

  24. beijos2k8 permalink
    June 3, 2008 1:03 am

    I am looking for a recipe: Frijoles Blancos con Chancho (White Beans with Pork). I had it recently at a Peruvian party, and it was really good, very mild and subtle, thick and creamy. There was a bone in my portion, I am thinking from the pork chop. Thank you in advance!

  25. June 3, 2008 10:52 am

    beijos2k8, I have had that at a Peruvian restaurant, and I agree that it is really good! I’m sorry I don’t know the recipe.

  26. July 31, 2008 9:30 am

    These look fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing!

  27. July 31, 2008 5:29 pm

    You are welcome, Rosie. This is a lot of “comfort food” for my husband.

  28. Diana permalink
    September 8, 2008 4:13 pm

    love the recipes! I am trying the seco de res tonight. It is great to find the recipes in english – specially for my husband who is the cook of the house. Thanks for the recipes! WHere can I post some when I find a new one to add?

  29. September 9, 2008 2:53 pm

    Diana, you are welcome. If you have any Peruvian recipes you’d like to share with me, you can click where it says “contact me” or you can just write the recipe in a comment on this page. Thanks for your enthusiastic response!

  30. Diana's husband permalink
    September 10, 2008 10:19 am

    I was under the impression that angostura bitters was the traditional ‘finishing touch’ to the pisco sours………thoughts?

    also – could you post a recipe for tiradito and or ceviche?? Thanks – great site!

  31. September 19, 2008 2:09 pm

    Sorry for the delay in replying to you, Diana’s husband. We’ve never had success with tiradito or ceviche. The white fleshed fish that they would use in Peru is very hard for us to get, living in the mountains of Virginia. And the limes from Peru are so much better for marinating than the limes we find in our grocery stores. I guess you know the basics, marinate the raw fish (cut in small strips) in lime juice with red onion, cilantro, and a little celery and rocoto paste. Serve it with cancha serrana saladita.

    When making the pisco sours some people use jarabe de goma, which can be found on the bebidas peruanas page of La Bodega Peruana, and you are right that some people also use angostura bitters. To each his own.

  32. Carlo Rodriguez permalink
    October 13, 2008 3:38 pm

    Hi, if someone is interested, I found a Web Site when they sell peruvian products for food with delivery for all US. The Site is:

    Tu Bodeguita – Peruvian Products

  33. October 14, 2008 9:58 am

    Thanks for the tip, Carlo!

  34. robin permalink
    February 16, 2009 9:53 am

    hi, had recently tried peruvain rotissrie cooked chicken in arlington va and it is fantastic! if anyone has recipe for cooking this chicken it would be great. thanks robin

  35. February 16, 2009 2:09 pm

    Sorry, Robin. I can’t help you because rotisserie chicken is better left to the restaurants with the industrial ovens, in my opinion. That’s great that you found a place that serves it!

  36. Marill permalink
    February 25, 2009 2:32 pm

    My recipe for Peruvian style ceviche

    1 1/2 lbs Sea bass (less expensive but also good is Tilapia) cut into 3/4 in cubes
    3/4 cup finely cut celery
    1 Tbl (+ or -) kosher salt (you need to use quite a bit of salt for this dish to taste right…..more than you would ever use if cooking the fish normally)
    1 small red onion, finely feathered lengthwise
    1 serrano chile minced (more if you like it)
    1-2 tsp aji amarillo paste
    sufficient juice of lemons and limes to cover fish 1/2 way. (divide 2 parts lemon to 1 part lime juice) If you can find key limes they are a great help in the marinade but when they aren’t available I use regular limes. Don’t use Meyer lemons for this.

    Place cut fish in a glass (non-reactive) 9×13 baking dish. Salt the fish well, moving it around until it is salted evenly. Add the juice, minced celery, aji amarillo and serrano chile. Allow to marinate, covered in the refrigerator until the fish becomes opaque. Stir it every 15 minutes while marinating. Meanwhile, place onions in a bowl and salt them with several tablespoons of kosher salt. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly in a colander. Set aside to drain thoroughly. When ceviche is done (fish is opaque) add the sliced onions and it’s ready to devour.

    I serve this with 2 inch chunks of choclo (Peruvian corn on the cob. My local Latino market carries this in the frozen food section). 1 inch slices of cooked sweet potato. (Both these items are precooked and served at room temperature. Place the ceviche on a couple leaves of bib (butter) lettuce and place corn and sweet potato alongside.

  37. Lizeth permalink
    December 30, 2009 1:53 am


    I saw yor blog by chance but when I started to read it I like it…I saw your pictures, and all them are nice..By the way I’m from Peru too 😀 like your husband hehehe…..I’m trying to learn english so sorry by my mistakes…..

    Congratulations !!! you have a nice family 😀

  38. David permalink
    January 2, 2010 1:59 pm

    Cool Web site, just found it looking for a recipe for Seco de Res, is it possible to cook seco de res in a slow cooker or crock pot?



    • January 2, 2010 2:11 pm

      Thanks, David. I would think so, if you kept the peas out until the last 20 minutes. My parents gave me a slow cooker for Christmas so I could definitely try it and see!

  39. Erika permalink
    May 4, 2010 10:18 pm

    Just came across this site while checking to see which Peruvian recipes were floating around the internet. I am Peruvian and have grown up eating these dishes (and many others) all my life .. lucky me 🙂

    Your recipes are close to those my own grandmother taught made with a few differences here and there which leave me to wonder if these changes are just things that my own grandmother changed to meet her own needs or if the recipe changes from region to region?

    I just made seco de res tonight with ensalada rusa and platanos fritos (another Peruvian sidedish that you find in many dishes) and compared my recipe to yours for the seco… have you ever added palillo (turmeric) to the recipe? I just ask because that is something my grandmother used in her recipe and which is therefore the only way I’ve ever made it!

    Thanks for posting these online and giving others a chance to try some of our wonderful dishes!

    Now if I could only make turrón, I would be a very happy person indeed!

  40. kathy permalink
    August 14, 2010 8:58 pm

    hi, I want to know where do you buy papa amarilla? thanks

    • married2peruvian permalink
      November 3, 2010 4:32 pm

      Papa amarilla is just yellow potatoes.

  41. Elizabeth Brodeur permalink
    November 9, 2010 5:18 am

    I’m so glad I found this website. I’ve been tring to find many of these recipes. thank you so much…..

  42. Ruth permalink
    November 22, 2010 6:18 pm

    WOW!! all this food looks soooo GOOD! im sure am gonna try cooking some of this stuff thank you for posting pictures also makes it easy and makes u wanna cook it haha..

    December 29, 2010 2:21 pm


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