Cooking Classes, Cusco, Food, Peru, Recipe
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Learning How To Cook Traditional Peruvian Cuisine

          There’s no denying it. Peru has the best cuisine in all of South America! With this in mind, I decided to take a traditional peruvian cuisine class and learn how to cook some delicious dishes.

          Cooking is not my forte. It’s never been, not because I can't prepare anything but because I am too lazy to cook or to actually go to the supermarket to acquire all the ingredients. That’s why delivery Apps are my best friend! Haha Why would I do without Uber Eats or Postmates? Who knows.

          Anyways, I was looking forward to actually learn how to prepare my own dishes. “You’re the only one if this tour this afternoon!” the chef said after he introduced himself at my hotel’s lobby. “Great! It's like a private class.” I thought.

          Chef Christian was by far one of the coolest people I met in this trip. Our first stop was el Mercado San Pedro, Cusco’s main market. A must visit if you are curious how locals get their groceries and other goods!

          You can find anything in Mercado san Pedro. From dry meat to a great variety of cheese and Chuta bread to any kind of fruit you can imagine. The chef pointed out the exotic fruits you can only find in Cusco and explained to me some facts on how locals use it for, how it's grown and how it taste like!

           The chef acquire some of this exotic fruits and other ingredients to use in order to prepare the dishes during the class. Later on, we head over to Cusco Culinary Tours to take the class. 
This class is usually taught in a small group, but lucky me I was the only person that booked the tour on that day so I got to truly learn all the tips in this private session. I had so many questions! But mainly I asked the so many questions because I actually wanted to take advantage of this opportunity.          


Pisco Sour was the first thing I learn to prepare. I was very excited because I love Pisco Sours! It tastes SO GOOD. Surprisingly the recipe is very simple and straightforward to prepare.




          What comes to mind when you think of Peruvian cuisine? Ceviche, of course! My culinary experience wouldn't be complete without learning how to prepare at least three types of traditional ceviches. Sashimi cut trout served 3 ways:  Nikkei Sauce, Classic with lime air and  Mochica (the ancestral way in tumbo juice).


           Tiradito is a peruvian raw fish dish, sliced sashimi way very similar to a carpaccio, served with a cold and acidic spicy sauce. This dish shows the influence of the japanese immigrants into peruvian cuisine even though it shares the ceviche method of “cooking” in lime juice it differs in the way of slicing the fish and the absence of onion. It could be considered an ceviche evolution.

Classic Tiradito


  •      Sashimi style trout (3 oz.)
  •       Limo chilli thinly diced (⅙ un.)
  •       Chopped cilantro (to taste)
  •       Crushed garlic (a  pinch)
  •       Crushed ginger (a pinch)
  •       Maras pink salt (to taste)
  •       Freshly crushed peppers (to taste)
  •       Key limes juice (1 un.)


  1.  Season the fish with Maras pink salt and pepper (salt will help to release moisture out of the product giving it a firmer texture)
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and finally the lime juice just squeezed ¾ out (this would prevent releasing the limes natural oils turning our juice bitter)   
  3. Mix well and marinate for 2 minutes


Mochica Style Tiradito


  •       Sashimi style trout (3 oz.)
  •       Limo chilli thinly diced (⅙ un.)
  •       Chopped cilantro (to taste)
  •       Crushed garlic (a pinch)
  •       Crushed ginger (a pinch)
  •       ­Maras pink salt (to taste)
  •       Freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  •       Tumbo (1 un.)


  1.    Season the fish cuts with maras pink salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  2.    Add the rest of ingredients and finally the juice of 1 tumbo passed through a fine sieve.
  3.    Mix well and marinate for 2 minutes.

Nikkei Tiradito (Japanese - Peruvian)


  •       Sashimi style trout (3 oz.)
  •       Crushed garlic (a pinch)
  •       Crushed garlic (a pinch)
  •       Limo chilli (⅙ un.)
  •       Oyster sauce (1 tsp.)
  •      Soy sauce (1 tsp.)
  •       Key lime juice ( 1 un.)


  1.    Season the fish cuts with Maras pink salt and freshly cracked black.
  2.    Add the rest of the ingredients and finally the juice of 1 lime.
  3.    Mix well and marinate for 2 minutes.

Serve in chinese spoons , garnish with fried fine sweet potato threats for the classic, fried vermicelli pasta for the Nikkei and fried cilantro leaves for the Moche.



Native potatoes and Moraya cake


  •       Moraya ( 2 un.)
  •       Native potatoes (blue potatoes) (2 small un.)
  •       Paria cheese (1.6 oz.)
  •       Evaporated milk (2.7 oz.)
  •       1 whole egg
  •       Aniseeds (a pinch)
  •    Salt and pepper to taste.


  1.    Wrap little muffin moulds or rings with aluminum foil for easier unmolding.
  2.    Thinly slice potatoes and morayas.
  3.    Thinly slice paria cheese.
  4.    Mix the whole egg with the evaporated milk, a pinch of anise seeds and season to taste.
  5.    Fill the moulds with layers of potato, moraya and cheese, all the way up.
  6.    Fill all the gap with the egg mixture

Finally, Bake at 180 °C (360 °F) for 15 minutes or until tender.

Tarwi and Yellow Chilli Sauce


  •       Diced yellow chilli, deveined and deseeded (½ un.)
  •       Diced red onion (¼ un.)
  •      Diced Paria cheese (or any queso fresco) (1.5 oz)
  •       Evaporated milk (3.5 oz)
  •       Tarwi beans (3.5 oz)
  •      Water (as needed)
  •       Salt and pepper (to taste)
  •       Vegetable oil (as needed)


  1.    In a pan, saute in oil the yellow chilli and onion until it’s lightly golden and softens.
  2.    Pour into a blender with the rest of ingredients with a tsp. of oil and blend until we get a smooth sauce texture.
  3.    Pour sauce into a pot and slowly heat uo until it barely starts boiling. Turn the heat off and season to taste.


Serve on a deep dish with the sauce as a base, unmold the potato cake on top and garnish with baby arugula sprouts.



Mushroom Quinotto

Quinotto is a clever hybrid name (quinoa + risotto) of this rich and creamy dish. Quinoa is a high protein grain that has been harvested for centuries in the Andes. Quinoa has recently enjoyed a surge of worldwide popularity, thanks to its nutritional properties and interesting nutty taste. Quinoa does not act like arborio rice and does not turn creamy when it is cooked slowly. The creaminess of this dish comes from the added heavy cream, but the flavor is delicious and the texture of the quinoa grain is very pleasing.

Recipe (2 servings)


  •       Clean mushrooms (2 oz.)
  •        Mixed cooked quinoa (4 oz.)
  •         Yellow chili paste (1 tsp.)
  •        Finely chopped red onion (¼ un.)
  •       Crushed garlic (1 clove)
  •       White wine (4 oz.)
  •       Unsalted butter in cubes (1 oz.)
  •        Heavy cream (2 oz.)
  •        Shredded paria cheese (2 oz.)
  •       Vegetable oil.
  •        Salt and pepper ( to taste)
  •        Chicken stock


  1.    In a pan, with oil, sweat garlic and onions until caramelized and soft.
  2.    Add a tbsp. of yellow chili paste and cook for some minutes.
  3.    Deglaze with a splash of white wine.
  4.   Add mushrooms, the cooked quinoa and cover with chicken stock.
  5.    Reduce until a risotto texture is achieved.
  6.    Turn the heat off and finish with butter, heavy cream and paria cheese.
  7.   Season to taste.



Chirimoya Cream with Pecans Praline

The well-known cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill) - Original from the inter-Andean valleys of Peru, located between 1500 and 2000 meters over the sea level. This has been proven by numerous studies of genetic material collected in the areas already mentioned, which prove that this fruit is purely Peruvian. 

Recipe (2 servings) 


Cream of Chirimoya


  •  Heavy cream (4 oz.)
  • Chirimoya (1 medium size un. )


  1.    In a bowl, separate all the Chirimoya pulp (white part) from the seeds and skin.
  2.    Whip cream until a soft peak is achieved.
  3.    Gently mix both. 


Almonds Praline


  •       Finely chopped almonds (2 oz)
  •      Sugar (7 oz.)


  1.    In a pan melt the sugar until it turns into a light caramel, drop the chopped almonds in and mix.
  2.    Drop this mixture into an oiled metal sheet pan and let cool down.
  3.    Once cold, crushed until a sandy texture is achieved.


Serve the cream in a martini cup, cover with the praline powder and garnish with an open golden berry. And, Voila!


About The Author

Mariella Molestina Noboa

Mariella loves to write about her adventures in traveling and continues to explore new places. - Learn more.  



  1. Now you’ve got me excited about Peruvian cuisine! I had no idea there are so many Japanese-influenced dishes in Peru! I would love to try them. The fish dishes sound so fresh and well-seasoned.

  2. These are some quick recipes and trust me they look so delicious.. Definitely going to try making at home.

    • Mariella says

      Thank you, Judy! Let me know how the dishes you prepared came out 🙂 Delicious I hope.

  3. Abigail Sinsona says

    Wow to claim that Peruvian cuisine is the best in South America is saying a lot. After all, South American cuisine is one of the best in the world. I really need to know how to cook Peruvian food as well while I am still waiting for the opportunity to visit Peru myself!

    • Mariella says

      Yes, very impressive to be the best cuisine in the world. Peru is a must visit ! 🙂

  4. Something i have never done is take a cooking class whilst traveling. You are right about the Peruvian dishes being special, this country is perfect for a cooking class. The learning how to make a pisco sour is a bonus! So lucky you had a private class!

    • Mariella says

      Hi James – cooking classes are so fun! You should consider taking a cooking class in your future travels 🙂 They are fun and yummy!

  5. Even reading all these recipes makes my mouth water. I am so thankful to you taht you actually took pains to jolt down these yummy recipes for your readers. I have never had a chance to taste Peruvian cuisine before but I am definitely going to try out a few of these recion my own. Will post back once I prepare some of them to let you know how I like it. Again thanks for sharing.

  6. I admit that I am not a foodie but when I see this, it does make me want to try my hand at it. I think my hubby will so love it. And that dessert – definitely something I would like too.

  7. I’ve always told myself to take a cooking class when traveling, but I’ve never done so. I’ve never tried Peruvian cuisine before, so thanks a lot to introduce me. The 2nd course looks really yummy <3

    • Mariella says

      Once you take a cooking class abroad, you’ll want to sign up to one every time you travel 🙂

  8. I have done food tours while travelling but the idea of take cooking class never crossed my mind. I think this is one of the best ways to enjoy the local food and also know about the recipes. The mushroom quinotto sounds interesting as I love both quinoa and risotto this will be top choice apart from the desserts.

    • Mariella says

      Hi Sum – cooking classes are so fun! Definitely a must-do for your next trip 🙂

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