Peruvian Cocina Recipes - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Peruvian Cocina Recipes

Peruvian Cocina Recipes

By Anthea Gerrie


SALMON TIRADITO: Sakura Maru was the name of the ship that brought the first Japanese immigrants to Peru. This Nikkei-inspired dish is a nod to their rich culture and that important moment when they arrived on Peruvian shores.

Serves 4

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • A small handful of rice vermicelli (be careful not to break them)

  • 2 spring onions

  • ½ red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

  • 400g salmon fillets, skinned and trimmed

  • 1 portion of Nikkei Tiger’s Milk (see below)

  • Fine sea salt

Prepare the garnishes. Half fill a saucepan with vegetable oil and heat until smoking. Add the vermicelli and cook for just 10 seconds. The noodles will immediately start to puff up and turn opaque. Remove immediately and drain on kitchen paper. Cut the spring onion whites and half the greens on the diagonal, about 2mm thick. Mix the red onion, tomato and coriander together in a bowl.

Cut the fish as finely as you can diagonally across the grain into very thin slices – you should end up with slices that look very similar to shop-bought smoked salmon.

Arrange the salmon slices on plates. Pour some tiger’s milk on each of them and add a little salt to flavour if needed. Add some onion and tomato mix on top of the salmon and arrange the spring onions around it. Finish each plate by putting some of the puffed vermicelli on top of the onions to give the dish some height and crunchiness.

NOTE: You can make a larger batch of the fried vermicelli if you like as they keep very well in an airtight container.


This is a marinade of citrus juice, salt and chilli used in our ceviche and tiradito recipes. Sometimes, garlic, ginger and coriander are added too. The marinade is made either by blending the ingredients and then straining it to give a smooth, slightly thicker sauce, or by infusing additional aromatics in the citrus juices so that it will be more liquid in consistency, with a subtler flavour.

Just over 100 years ago the first Japanese migrants set sail for Peru on the Sakura Maru, hoping for a better life. Peru is now home to the fifth largest Japanese community outside Japan and has managed to absorb the best of Japanese customs and culinary traditions. ‘Nikkei’ cuisine is rooted in a respect for the foods of both Peru and Japan. They have much in common, not least a reverence for the freshest fish and seafood. The result of this collaboration of culinary forces is a seamless fusion of delicious foods and dishes that have become some of the most loved in Peru.

Every Peruvian will tell you that tiger’s milk has miraculous properties; it’s reputedly a stimulant and an aphrodisiac, and some say it cures hangovers. In Peru, once ceviche has been eaten, tiger’s milk is never thrown out. In fact, it’s often the case that more than needed is made up to be served as drinks.

The following recipe makes 120–150ml (enough to make a ceviche serving 4 people, made with about 600g fish).

This tiger’s milk works best with any Nikkei-style ceviches or tiraditos.

Put a 5mm piece of fresh root ginger (cut in half), 1 small garlic clove (cut in half) and the juice of 8 limes in a bowl. Stir and then leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. Add 2 teaspoons mirin, 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice, ½ teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and mix well. This will keep for 4 hours in the fridge.


CORIANDER POTATO CAKE WITH BEETROOT & AVOCADO: A causa is a traditional layered dish made primarily of mashed potatoes. Our addition of beetroot, carrot and avocado makes a fun, psychedelic combination. They can be assembled in all kinds of moulds and you can vary the fillings as you like. It’s a perfect vegetarian starter or light meal. 


  • A handful of coriander sprigs

  • 500g floury potatoes, unpeeled

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 tbsp Amarillo Chilli Paste (see below)

  • 50ml vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying

  • 50g sweet potato, sliced extremely fine lengthways

  • 4 tbsp Olive Sauce (see below), to serve

For the topping: 

  • 75g cooked carrots, diced

  • 75g cooked beetroot, diced

  • 1 limo chilli, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise

  • ½ a small red onion, finely diced

  • 1.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

  • Juice of ½ a lime

  • 1 large ripe avocado, lightly mashed

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

First of all, prepare the potato. Put the coriander in a food processor or blender with a little water and blitz until it is puréed. Steam the potatoes with some salt until soft and, when cool enough to handle, peel and mash them. Add the salt and Amarillo Chilli Paste and then gradually add all of the oil, beating continuously, until the mash is smooth and coming away from the side of the bowl. Add the coriander purée to the mash and mix thoroughly. Be careful not to over mix or the mash will become chewy.

To make the topping: gently mix the carrots, beetroot, chilli, coriander, mayonnaise, onion, ginger and lime juice together in a bowl and then season with salt and pepper.

If you have a deep-fat fryer, heat the oil to 170°C. If not, pour the oil to a depth of about 5cm in a large, deep saucepan, making sure that it is no more than half full. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop in a cube of bread; if it sizzles and turns golden, the oil is ready. 

Deep-fry the thin slices of sweet potato until crisp and until they start to take on a little colour – each one should look like a long, thin crisp. Take care not to burn them. With a slotted spoon, remove the sweet potato crisps from the oil and drain on some kitchen paper.

To assemble each causa, put an 8cm round mould on a plate. Put some mashed potato into it and press down to make a base layer. Top with a layer of mashed avocado and then a layer of the carrot and beetroot mixture. Remove the mould and serve with a few sweet potato crisps arranged on top. Add a large spoonful of Olive Sauce on the side to serve.


This basic chilli paste works best with Peruvian chillies: amarillo, panca or rocoto. Many chillies can easily be substituted with others without the flavour of the overall dish being totally compromised.

Put 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Heat over medium heat and then add 100g frozen or fresh deseeded chillies of your choice or 35g reconstituted deseeded and roughly chopped dried chillies, and ½ a finely chopped small onion. Sauté over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and sauté for 5 minutes until everything is very soft, being careful to make sure it doesn’t take on any colour. Put the contents of the saucepan into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Store in the fridge in a sterilised jar. Makes about 190g.


If you are using dried chillies (such as panca chillies), dry roast them in a frying pan for 1–2 minutes and then cover with warm water to rehydrate. It may take several hours but the chillies should plump up almost to the point that they look fresh/frozen. Strain and deseed and you should end up with around 100g of chilli.

If you are using rocoto, substitute half the quantity with sweet red pepper. This is because rocotos are very hot and the flavour needs balancing out a little.

To sterilise glass bottles or jars, wash them in hot soapy water and place in a low oven (150°C/gas mark 2) until ready to use.

As a general rule you can store chilli pastes for up to a week in the fridge. They will keep quite well if you decant into sterilised jars and cover with a layer of vegetable oil. And as mentioned earlier you can freeze them. A useful for tip for freezing is to put the paste into ice cube trays in tablespoon and teaspoon measurements and then decant into plastic bags once frozen.


This rich sauce keeps very well in the fridge and can be used as a dipping sauce.

Put 1 egg and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a food processor or blender and blitz together. Mix 200ml vegetable oil and 100ml extra virgin olive oil in a jug and gradually add it to the food processor with the motor running – once the mayonnaise has started to thicken and has emulsified, you can increase the speed. Add the 15 pitted Peruvian botija olives (or kalamata or any black olive) and blend until smooth. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and more seasoning if necessary. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Makes about 400ml.

NOTE: Please don’t be tempted to make the sauce purely with olive oil as it will taste far too strong.


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • Chicken breast
  • 400g Vegetable oil (for frying)

  • 1 large onion

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • Aji amarillo chilli paste: 250 ml

  • Evaporated milk: 250 ml

  • Chicken stock: 50 ml

  • 8 cream crackers

  • Parmesan cheese: 100 g

  • Rice: 320 g

  • 6  black olives

  • 2 eggs

  • Chopped pecans: 20 g

  • 2 small potatoes

  • Fine salt and freshly grounded black pepper

Boil the chicken in salted water. Once cooked, place the chicken on a plate and shred in small pieces. In another pot heat 50 ml of vegetable oil (approximately 4 tbs) and then add the chopped onion and garlic cloves and let them cook until they are soft, then add the aji amarillo chilli paste, the evaporated milk the broken cream crackers and cook for 8/10 minutes at medium heat. Transfer the mixture in a food processor together half of the chicken stock and blend finely to obtain a smooth sauce. Transfer back the sauce to the pot and add the shredded chicken, the parmesan cheese, the other half of chicken stock and cook at low heat for about 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Cook separately the rice and the potatoes in salted water and boil the eggs until hard. Place in each plate ¼ of the boiled rice and on the side ¼ of the shredded chicken sauce. Garnish with olives chopped in half, chopped pecans, half potato and half boiled egg.

Recipes from Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen by Martin Morales, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback on July 4, 2013 at £25. Published in the U.S. by Ten Speed/Random House.


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