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17 Flavorful Peruvian Recipes Featuring Papas, Pisco, Pollo, and More

Flavor meats with famous sauces and cocktails with the national spirit to taste Peru at home.

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Peruvian cuisine is a delicious reflection of the country's rich cultural diversity, its distinct mix of climates, and the more than 4,000 types of potatoes that grow in its Andean highlands. Indigenous peoples enjoyed native foods such as corn, quinoa, beans, chiles, and tubers of all sorts; the Spanish introduced rice, wheat, garlic, onions, and various meats. Chinese and Japanese immigrants gave way to the Chifa and Nikkei cooking traditions, using local ingredients to create new iterations of homeland favorites; dishes like Lomo Saltado and Tiradito have since garnered international appeal. Grab a jar of ají amarillo paste and get acquainted with the flavors of Peru in your own kitchen by cooking your way through our collection of vibrant Peruvian recipes.

Ají Verde (Peruvian-Style Green Sauce)

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

Ají verde, the iconic Peruvian green sauce, gets its robust, luscious flavor from ají amarillo paste, lime, scallions, and plenty of cilantro. It's terrific served alongside rotisserie chicken or grilled meats; it's equally good with roasted or grilled fish.

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Tuna Tiradito with Ají Amarillo Leche de Tigre

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Tiradito is a raw fish preparation similar to ceviche that features sashimi-style cuts topped with an acidic, flavorful sauce right before serving. In this version, raw sashimi-grade tuna is draped in a sauce of lemon juice, orange juice, and ají amarillo chiles.

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Seared Tuna Tiradito

Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson
Photo by Tara Donne / Food Styling by Chris Lanier / Prop Styling by Raina Kattelson

At Cabra, chef Stephanie Izard dresses raw sushi-grade tuna steak with a creamy Kewpie mayonnaise-laced sauce, thinned with lime and orange juices and studded with spicy serrano chiles. Here, she gives the tuna a quick sear in a screaming-hot skillet to add another layer of complexity to the dish.

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Anticuchos de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Skewers)

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Chef Stephanie Izard's Peruvian skewers are coated in a thick chile marinade that withstands the heat of the grill and clings to the chicken, yielding caramelized, charred bits.

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Artesano Pisco Sour

<p>Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon</p>

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

“Pisco is Peru’s national drink and a part of the pride and joy of every Peruvian,” says Marek Trocha, bartender at Artesano in New York City, a restaurant that features elegant Peruvian cuisine. When it comes to pisco, the Pisco Sour is the classic cocktail expression of the spirit. Artesano's riff uses warmly spiced gum syrup rather than the traditional simple syrup.

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Peruvian Seafood and Rice Stew

<p>© Fredrika Stjärne</p>

© Fredrika Stjärne

Chef Ricardo Zarate makes this easy Peruvian paella with already-cooked rice, so it’s quicker to prepare than traditional Spanish paella. He flavors the dish with spicy Peruvian chile paste and tops everything with a bright, fresh tomato salsa.

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Sea Scallop Tiradito

© Chris Court
© Chris Court

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa spent three years cooking in Peru before he moved to the States. His simple tiradito requires the freshest scallops you can find. If rocoto chile paste isn't available, you can substitute it with another type.

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Pollo à la Brasa (Peruvian Roast Chicken)

© Kate Winslow
© Kate Winslow

Just five minutes of prep yields a Peruvian-inspired marinade that infuses this easy roast chicken with plenty of flavor.

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Peruvian Anticuchos with Red Salsa

© Lucas Allen
© Lucas Allen

Anticuchos, or grilled skewers of marinated meat, are a street food staple in Peru. The recipe here combines cubes of hanger steak with a salsa that gets its kick from Peruvian ají limo chile paste.

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Peruvian Shrimp and Corn Chowder

© Raymond Hom
© Raymond Hom

In Peru, small streams wend their way from the mountains to the coast. The delicious shrimp that fill them are cooked with local corn, squash, and potatoes to make this South American chowder called cupe.

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Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Steak and Potato Stir-Fry)

© Kate Mathis
© Kate Mathis

For this classic Chinese-Peruvian dish, sliced steak is stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and French fries. Serve Lomo Saltado on its own or with rice.

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Ceviche with Corn and Sweet Potatoes

© Kate Winslow
© Kate Winslow

Peruvian ceviches often include choclo, a type of large, chewy corn that can be hard to find in the States. Fresh sweet corn, though less typical, makes a fine substitute.

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Scallop Ceviche with Sweet Potato

© Lucas Allen
© Lucas Allen

Cevicherias, which are popular throughout Peru, are now appearing in the United States. That's due at least in part to renowned Peruvian chef Gastón Acuria, who opened branches of his Lima restaurant La Mar in San Francisco and Manhattan. In New York City, La Mar chef Victoriano López prepared this recipe with ají limo paste, a Peruvian ceviche staple made from tiny chiles.

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Papas à la Huancaína (Potatoes with Queso Fresco Sauce)

© Kate Winslow
© Kate Winslow

Ají amarillo chile paste lends this interesting uncooked Peruvian sauce a sunny hue and heat. The simple dish looks especially dramatic when made with purple potatoes.

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Chicha Morada

© Abby Hocking
© Abby Hocking

Chicha morada, a refreshing sweet-tart Peruvian drink, gets its gorgeous hue from dried purple corn. Garnished with chunks of pineapple and apple and spiced with cinnamon and cloves, this sangria-like mocktail is the perfect summer drink.

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Stuffed Trout with Purple Potato Gratin

© Frances Janisch
© Frances Janisch

This is chef Emmanuel Piqueras' riff on a traditional, rustic Peruvian dish of mountain trout cooked with lots of garlic. He adapts the recipe by stuffing the trout with a deeply flavored blend of smoky ham, fresh mint, and parsley.

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Salsa Criolla (Peruvian Red Onion Relish)

© Kate Winslow
© Kate Winslow

Soaking the red onion briefly in cold water helps temper its bite. Serve this fresh relish alongside grilled steak, roast chicken, over tacos, or with anything that can use a little crisp piquancy.

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