Most people in the United States enjoy a good Chinese restaurant with classic dishes like sweet and sour pork or kung pao chicken. What most people do not realize is that Chinese food is a major influence on other cultural cuisines as well. One of the countries most influenced by China is Peru.
Peru may be located an ocean away from China, but the impact of Chinese cooking is impossible to miss in Peruvian food. In fact, Chinese influences are so prominent in Peru that the fusion has its own label. Chifa is the term used to describe this exquisite culinary combination, blending the best of China and Peru for a range of delectable and distinctive dishes.
The reason for this blending of culinary styles can be traced back to the 1800s. Chinese immigrants flocked to Peru, coming to take advantage of plentiful job opportunities in the mines and plantations. In addition to helping the Peruvian economy, Chinese immigrants had a major impact on Peruvian cooking as well.
Being so far from home, these immigrants had to improvise with their traditional recipes. They used whatever ingredients they could find, substituting them into their favorite dishes. The result was Chinese-style dishes with Peruvian flavors. Soon, these dishes became so popular that they attracted attention of people outside the immigrant community. Over time, these dishes were consumed by everyone in Peru, and many chifa dishes are considered part of Peru’s iconic food offerings.
While there are many options for chifa in Peru, some are more popular than others. Many rice dishes have Chinese influences such as arroz chaufa, which is a type of Peruvian fried rice. Lomo saltado is probably the most famous example. This unique stir fry is found on the menu of nearly every Peruvian restaurant. It combines a traditional Chinese stir fry with the best Peruvian foods, making it an enduring dinner in any culture.
Outside of Peru, it can be hard to find a good Peruvian restaurant. Thankfully, for the best Peruvian food on this side of the Equator, you can visit La Costanera Restaurant. The menu has an unparalleled selection of Peruvian cuisine including dishes with Chinese influences. Taste the cultural difference today by making your reservation at La Costanera Restaurant.