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Peruvian Cuisine: The Dishes and History You Need to Know

a plate of food with a slice of cake on a table

Exploring the History of Peruvian Cuisine 

The gorgeous country of Peru, situated in western South America, offers a significant diversity of climates, ways of life, economic activities, and historical and cultural influences.

Peruvian cuisine is a key expression of the country's culture, reflecting its rich abundance of ingredients and unique history through bold flavors and fusion.

Keep reading to learn more about the history of Peruvian food and its staple dishes!

Peruvian Cuisine: The Staples

Traditional Peruvian food features a number of special staples that embody the cuisine as a whole. These include Arroz Chaufa, Lomo Saltado, and Ceviche.

Let's dive deeper into these dishes and their history!

Arroz Chaufa

Arroz chaufa, also known as arroz de chaufa, is a Chinese-Peruvian fried rice dish from the "chifa" culinary tradition. A beautiful example of culinary fusion, it's one of the most popular dishes in Peruvian cuisine.

Chifa is a type of cuisine marrying Chinese-Cantonese elements with traditional Peruvian ingredients and cooking methods. It was created when Chinese immigrants (mainly from Guangdong and Guangzhou) immigrated to Peru, settling along its coast and in its capital city, Lima. Originally a Peruvian cuisine, chifa has since spread to Ecuador, Chile, and Bolivia, and has become one of the most popular types of food throughout all of Peru!

Arroz chaufa is very easy to make, only needing about 5 minutes to cook. All you need to do is gather your ingredients (eggs, rice, meat of your choice or vegetarian option, diced red peppers, green onions/scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger for a kick) and follow this great recipe from Hispanic Kitchen – perfect for whipping up in a flash on a weeknight or weekend.

Lomo Saltado

Chances are, if you've visited our Instagram, you've scrolled by posts of the mouthwatering lomo saltado. This chifa dish is a popular staple of Peruvian cuisine and is also one of the easiest Peruvian dishes to prepare. Lomo saltado, occasionally known as lomito saltado, is a stir-fried beef dish served with rice. Its main ingredients include thinly sliced sirloin strips, rice, soy sauce, vinegar, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and French fries. Adventurous eaters can also add chili pepper, such as Peruvian ají Amarillo, for some flair.

When you're ready to try making lomo saltado at home, try this easy recipe from Tasty and let us know what you think!


Unlike arroz chaufa and lomo saltado, ceviche certainly takes longer than 5 minutes to make. Nevertheless, this refreshing dish is a cornerstone of Peruvian cuisine and has an incredible impact on traditional Peruvian gastronomy. It's a staple for many Peruvians and is Peru's national dish!

Ceviche is a healthy dish that can be served as an appetizer or main course. Served cold, it's generally made from fresh raw fish or shrimp that has been marinated in fresh citrus juices (typically lemon or lime) and spiced with seasonings (such as ají, chili peppers, chopped onions, salt, and coriander).

According to historical sources, ceviche originated among the "Moche" coastal civilization, which flourished nearly 2,000 years ago. Differing accounts indicate that the fish was prepared in various ways: with fermented juice from banana passionfruit (Moche), with an Andean fermented beverage called chicha (Inca Empire), or with salt and ají (pre-Spanish arrival).

Peruvian ceviche is one of Peru's classic dishes and an essential dish for seafood lovers. Here's an authentic recipe to try at home, courtesy of Eat Peru.

Order Authentic Peruvian Cuisine at Pepe's BBQ

Now that you know more about Peruvian cuisine and the history that makes these dishes so special, we hope you're feeling hungry. Order Pepe's BBQ takeout or delivery online, or place your order for authentic Peruvian catering now! Call (973) 736-1567 or stop by Pepe's BBQ today!