Some days I get super homesick. Instagram doesnt help when I see all those peruvian accounts showing my favorite food. Most ingredients are hard to find, like the over 200 kinds of potatoes. But one kind of potato can be found here: Old potatoes.
Yes! old potatoes. You know them! when they start getting dry and growing stumps all over. Normal european people toss the away, but in Peru, they are the best potatoes to make "Papa Rellena" what means literally stuffed potato.
i bought some potatoes and let them dry behind a door in my kitchen. 2 weeks! yeah! you can wait until 4 weeks for better results. The drier and weird the look, the better! they should look gross but not have any moss on them or any fluids either.
Ingredients: (for 4)
7 medium size old potatoes
200 grams ground beef or 1 diced aubergine for the vegan version.
1 white onion
1 carrot or as much as you onion amount
3 garlic cloves
16 black olives
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup broth
Salt & pepper
Flour or Rice Flour
Lets get stuffed. Sometimes a person gives you are really hard time, but there is always a bright side on every bad situation. The mom of my ex hated me, but gave the greatest tip: Do not boil your potatoes, steam them! Yes, steamed potatoes are way better in texture and flavour, not to mention that they never break as they do in water.
Steam the potatoes for 35 minutes!. Once they are tender peel and press with a fork. I use a potato press, works wonders as I dot have to peel the crap out of them.
In a pan, fry the diced onions, garlic and carrots until they are transparent and tender. Add the meat or diced aubergine, paprika powder and tomato paste. When the meat is cooked, add the broth and olives and let it simmer until the liquids are all gone. Add salt and pepper to the meat mix and the potatoes and let them cool down.
Now we start building them. Take a quarter of the potato with your hand (full with flour) and press the potato to an oval flat form. Add a big spoon of the filling and roll the potato over it until you made a cocoon. Feel free to add as much flour as you need. It gets sticky, so use a lot of flour.
Add a lot of rice flour to a dish and place them using baking paper to separate them. In my house they used to put them in the freezer for an hour to make them a bit more "solid". Then In a hot pan with a lot of olive oil, fry the potatoes until they are golden. You can use a deep fryer as well.
Serve with some rocoto sauce or sriracha mayo and some salsa if you want it even more spicy! I used 1 spoon vegan mayo and half spoon of peruvian chili paste.
Nikkei - Testing The Trend
For the ones that dont know much about the Peruvian culinary tradition, we have loads of cultural influences. One of the best outcomes of it, is the Japanese influence. What brings us Nikkei, a combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine that has become new trend amongst Europe.
I mean, Sushi mixes perfectly with ceviche if you think about it. Combining Japanese dishes with Peruvian flavors and techniques has a remarkable effect. The minimalism and delicacy of Japanese food meets the rough freshness and spiciness of Peru. a deadly combination for every foodie around!
Both are so similar, yet so different. But what is Nikkei? or what does the word mean? Nikkei people are Japanese emigrants and their descendants who have created communities throughout the world. And Nikkei food, for me, is the evolution of Japanese food where these communities live.
I was in Peru this May, and I was dying to eat some Nikkei again after 14 years living in Europe. I had to Taste the trend. Sadly I couldnt go visit Micha, my childhood friend and owner of the number 13 of the 50 best restaurants in the world, but I got to take a little time to visit Osaka and get delighted with all the flavours this cuisine has to offer.
I went there with my family. And we started with some delicious Nikkei Cocktails made with japanese and peruvian fruits. Each of them tastier than the other. I got the Pisco Punch Osaka as i loved the one I tried at the Super Foods Event from last december.
We started with 2 Tiraditos. Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, cut in the shape of sashimi, and of aspect similar to crudo, and carpaccio, in a spicy sauce.
Carpassion: Salmon, passion fruit honey, watercress and crunchy dough and Osaka Tataki, a grilled seared tuna, oriental citrus sauce, togarashi and negi.
After the tiraditos, we ordered a nigiri platter. A dream of Foie Gras, Shrimps and truffles. It was mouth-watering.
- Hotate Truffle: Fan shells, white truffle butter and lemon
- Tuna Foie: Tuna, foie gras, teriyaki sauce and Maldon salt.
- Evil Ebi: Prawn, BBQ Osk and chalaquita.
We followed the Nigiris with Nikkei Makis that included Antiku, Prawns tempura, negi and seared loin with Nikkei anticucho sauce. And Spicy Crunchy, a maki made out Prawns batayaki, crab pulp, crunchy quinoa and togarashi.
And before we decided on the main dishes, we had to try at least one Peruvian Izakaya. This was a great name for it as it means Japanese Tapas. We went for the beautiful Mariscos al Fuego, or Seafood on Fire! it just melted in your mouth and left you yearning for more! An amazingly made mix of seafood sautéed in butter, togarashi and lemon.
The main dishes arrived! As a huge fan of Yuzu, I ordered the Niku Kabayaki, a Wagyu slices, kabayaki and yuzu butter. I loved the fact that you could grill your own meat and the sides. OH MY! an onion marmalade and fried peruvian cassava.
The rest of the family ordered these amazing dishes:
- Salmon Tentsuyu, a salmon confit in lime oil, negi and avocado tempura.
- Pato Mochero, Crispy duck leg over wok rice, cecina and shiitake with honey of tumbo
- Shiromi a la Brasa, White fish marinated in shoyu with crispy garlic sauce, almonds and Peruvian peppers.
- OSK Wok, Wok rice with vegetables and shrimps.
We had a great night, everything was highly pleasant to the taste. For me, this culinary fusion is the best I have ever tried. And IMHO, everyone should try this beautiful love child between Peru and Japan.
I tested the trend, And I got even more hungry for it as I was before this meal. Damn, I will even try to make some Nikkei recipes for the blog!! If you are in Lima and you want to try some Nikkei besides Osaka
- My friend Micha's Maido
- Costanera 700 a restaurant I had the honor to work with years ago
- Mesa18 from the Legend Toshiro Konishi
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...