True Peruvian style cooking takes time. There are few modern conveniences in most Peruvian kitchens, and it’s rare to find a Peruvian cook who uses many canned or pre-packaged foods in their creations. Perhaps that’s what makes the food itself so special. From daily trips to the market to the slow cooking of beans and stews, the time and effort of preparation shines through in each bite.
So how does one go about cooking Peruvian food? Fresh ingredients are a must for best flavor. Most Peruvians buy their food as needed each day. Meats and vegetables are picked up at the market, and breads fresh from the bakery. It helps to have the right seasoning, although there are substitutions that can be used in a pinch. Check out the following websites for Peruvian recipes that will have you cooking traditional food all on your own.
Yanuq – Cooking in Peru – this site is very thorough, with a large choice of recipes arranged according to appetizer, soup, salad and so on. . I like that they show pictures of the aji (peppers) used to help you with your shopping.
About.com – A List of Traditional Peruvian Recipes – while not as extensive as the previous site, About.com does a good job of presenting recipes for the most popular of foods, in easy to follow format.
Recipezaar – Peruvian Recipes – The nice thing about this site is that recipes are rated by users, so it’s easier to find the ones that work.
Recipehound – Recipes From Peru – a functional site with easy to follow recipes (including English names) and a link to common cooking phrases in Spanish.
Peruvian Vegetarian Recipes – only three recipes, but for vegetarian cooks it may give you enough ideas to start adapting other recipes on your own.
We’d like to hear from you. There are a ton of Peruvian food cookbooks out there. Which one do you recommend? Tell us about it in our forum topic: Peruvian Food – Cookbooks. Don’t skimp on the savory details.