Peruvian Food: What is Peru’s National Dish?

If you are planning a trip to Peru, you must know that Peruvian Food is one of the top reasons for which Peru is most well known. With over 400 original dishes it can be difficult to decide which one is Peru’s national dish. Through Peruvian food you will sample some of the amazing culture that you’ll find in this country. Flavors from the coast, the Amazon and the Andes will leave you wanting to come back. 

5 Peruvian dishes you must try:

1. Ceviche

It’s essentially spicy, raw fish with salt, garlic, onions, and hot Peruvian peppers, all mixed and marinated in lime. The lime denatures the protein, giving the fish a slightly cooked texture. There are many variations on the recipe; depending on the chef, your peruvian ceviche could include a touch of milk, citric juice, and many other ingredients. It is usually garnished with a slice of lettuce leaf and accompanied by canchita–kernels of corn–and sweet potato.

Most people consider peruvian ceviche as the national dish because it’s very popular and you’ll find it all over Lima and throughout the rest of Peru. From top-tier restaurants all the way to little corners in the market, you will find this classic meal. 

2. Pollo a la Brasa: Peruvian Roasted Chicken

This is one of the Peruvian favorites, there is even a designated national day in July! This is a chicken seasoned with salt and cooked in charcoal, each restaurant in Peru use a “secret” mixture, mainly consisting of vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, chili, and other spices, then grilled in specially fabricated Pollo a la Brasa ovens. It’s commonly served with thick French fries and a small salad.

3. Lomo Saltado

This dish has a unique Peruvian twist. Lomo Saltado dials up the Chinese influence on Peruvian food, known as “chifa”. This plate mix cuts of tender steak, onion, tomatoes, and aji amarillo, a flavorsome Peruvian yellow pepper, all flash-fried in soy sauce. It’s served with Peruvian rice, fries and a fried egg on top. You can try this plate in many famous restaurants including Maido and Central, two of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

4. Anticuchos

At first, it may seem odd to try these pieces of beef heart, marinated in a blend of spices and grilled on an open fire, but once you try them, you will understand why they sell them in so many places in Lima. From the moment you smell it until you eat them, you will enjoy a unique experience and taste. 

5. Papa a la Huancaina

This is commonly served as an appetizer. Papa a la Huancai­na are boiled yellow potatoes covered with a yellow spicy and creamy cheese sauce and accompanied by hard-boiled eggs and black olives. It is so popular that you can find this sauce as a dip for everything: fried yucca, as a sauce for spaghetti or risotto, over Causa Limeña and more. 

These are just a few options for the variety of Peruvian dishes and tastes you’ll find. Try as many as you can, and don’t forget to ask for an Inca Kola, the most popular soda in this country!


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