Peruvian Treasures: Chifa

One thing that defines Peru and its culture is its food. One of the reasons the food is so great is the wide variety of exotic spices, which can bring a whole new set of flavors to any recipe. One example of this is Chifa, a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine.

In the past, Chinese men and women were brought to Peru as laborers. These men and women brought with them some ingredients that Peru had not seen before, such as ginger for example. Through the ages, Chinese cuisine was infused with Peruvian ingredients, changing the way it was made forever.

The name comes from the similar Mandarin word “to eat”, and has been used to generalize all the types of Chinese and Peruvian fused cuisine. The name is also used to label the restaurants, so if you’re looking for some Chinese, you usually just ask where the closest “Chifa” place is.

The most common Chifa dish is “Arroz Chaufa” (Fried rice), which can come with either chicken, pork, or shrimp. Side dishes include “Wantan Frito” (as seen above), Wanton soup, noodles and “Pollo Tipa Kay”. All of these include both Chinese and Peruvian ingredients, thus creating a truly unique dining experience.

We can’t talk about Chifa without talking about “El Barrio Chino”, or Peru’s own Chinatown. In (the Peruvian capital) Lima’s center, you can find “Calle Capon”, a street filled with shops and restaurants that serves as a mini-hub for Chinese culture in Peru. You can find Chinese spices and ingredients, cultural novelties and great souvenirs to take with you if you’re just touring around.

There are many Chifa restaurants around Peru, each with its own style and character. Make sure to take advantage of this information and experience the culture and cuisine each Chifa has to offer when you book your flight to Peru. Below are some of the Chifa places I recommend.

My Recommendations:

Chifa Titi (http://www.chifatiti.com/)

-A restaurant that’s been around since the 50’s and 60’s

Madam Tusan (http://madamtusan.pe/)

Chifa San Say Kay (http://www.sansaykay.com/)

 

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