If you’re planning a culinary adventure in Lima, Peru, get ready to savor some of the most delightful and unique dishes you’ll ever taste. We’ll explore the top five Peruvian dishes that are a must-try for a real foodie. From the creamy comfort of «Aji de Gallina» to the sizzling goodness of «Pollo a la Brasa,» let’s embark on a mouthwatering journey through Peruvian cuisine. Before we delve into the details, if you’re gearing up to explore Lima soon, remember to explore our Local Lima Tasty Food Tours.
Peruvian Home Food – Aji de Gallina (shredded chicken)
When you hear the name «Aji de Gallina,» you might think it’s a spicy dish, but surprise, it’s not! Despite having the word «aji» (hot pepper) in its name, this creamy chicken stew is actually quite mild. It’s a beloved comfort food in Peru, known for bringing joy to households across the country. Families gather around the table to enjoy its rich, velvety sauce made with yellow chili pepper, walnuts, bread, and evaporated milk.
The Flavor That Unites Families – Pollo a la Brasa (rotisserie chicken)
Peruvian «Pollo a la Brasa» is a chicken dish like no other. It boasts a special and unique flavor thanks to Peruvian ingredients like ají panca (peruvian chili) and the traditional method of cooking over charcoal, which sets it different from oven-roasted chicken found in other countries. This dish is not just a meal; it’s a tradition that brings Peruvian families together in various special celebrations.
I’m Lovin’ It – Chaufa (stir-fried rice)
Ever wondered what «Chaufa» means in everyday Peruvian language? It’s a Peruvian slang to say «goodbye» to your friends, but in this case, it’s a friendly farewell to your hunger! Chaufa is a beloved dish in Peru, and it has a fascinating origin. It’s adapted from Chinese cuisine since the 19th century, but Peruvians have made it their own. You can find different regional versions, like the Amazonian Chaufa with jungle ingredients or the quinoa-based Chaufa from the Andes. Don’t forget to try «Mostrito» – a coastal twist combining Chaufa with french fries and Pollo a la Brasa. You can grab Chaufa at Chifas, a special eateries that offers Chinese-inspired dishes with a Peruvian twist, and the best drink to have Chaufa is Inca Kola.
A Must for Every Peruvian – Lomo Saltado (stir-fried beef)
Lomo Saltado is a quick and easy-to-make dish, but don’t be fooled – perfecting it takes culinary finesse. It’s a mouthwatering stir-fry that incorporates Peruvian flavors, such as aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chili pepper) french fries, red onions, and tomatoes and adds an oriental touch with soy sauce («sillao») and ginger («kion») cooked in a wok. Just the mention of Lomo Saltado can make any Peruvian’s mouth-watering. It’s a dish that truly captures the essence of Peruvian cuisine.
The Most Peruvian Social Dish – Ceviche (lime-cured fish)
In Peru, summer and beach mean one thing: Ceviche! This refreshing dish is a favorite among Peruvians, especially when paired with an ice-cold beer. You’ll find Ceviche being sold at beachside stalls because it’s in high demand during the hot season. Making a great Ceviche is all about quality ingredients – fresh fish, key limes, red onions, salt, and spicy ají limo (Peruvian chili pepper). Unlike other countries where people meet for a coffee, Peruvians gather over a plate of Ceviche for a truly memorable social experience.
So, if you’re looking to experience the heart and soul of Peruvian cuisine, make sure to try these five dishes when you visit Lima. From the comforting Aji de Gallina to the sizzling Pollo a la Brasa, the flavorful Chaufa, the mouthwatering Lomo Saltado, and the refreshing Ceviche with a Chicha Morada (purple corn drink, coming in our next article for The Top 5 Peruvian Drink You Can’t-Miss in Lima, you’re in for a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
Join us to make you eat these Top Peruvian Dishes in the best places by taking our Lima Market Food Tour.