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Five Easy and Healthy South American Recipes

Updated on June 23, 2010

South American countries have an amazing and hybrid cuisine, that mixes Old and New World techniques and ingredients. Either if its from Perú, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela or Guyana, South American cuisine has a richness of flavors, colors, textures and influences that has evolved from centuries of trial and errors and from native and immigrant traditions. Some foods that were prepared by ancient civilizations are still enjoyed today, but others have been influenced with hints of diverse European, African and Asian traditions. Conversely, some familiar European dishes have been creolized with the infusion of Native American, African or Asian ingredients and flavors.

The richness of the soil, rivers and seas and the diversity of the geography and climate offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, fishes and seafood that creatively and deliciously becomes part of the traditional and contemporary cuisine of South America.

Peruvian Ceviche
Peruvian Ceviche

Peruvian Ceviche


  • 2 pounds white-fleshed skinless fish fillets (flounder, sole, or corvina)
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped very fine
  • 1 fresh ají amarillo (yellow Peruvian chili), seeded and chopped fine, or substitute with red chili or jalapeño pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine (1/2 cup)
  • 3 lettuce leaves
  • 4 ears of corn, cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, roasted in the skin, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 pound yuca, peeled, cut into little-finger-sized slices, and boiled until soft


Cut the fish into strips 1 1/2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Soak the strips in lightly salted water for 1 hour to tenderize. Drain well. Put the fish in a bowl and fold in the lime juice carefully. Add the salt, garlic, and aji and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Just before serving, mix in the parsley, cilantro, and onion. To serve, line a bowl or large platter with the lettuce. Place the ceviche in the center. Surround it with 3 separate mounds: corn pieces at the top of the platter, sweet potato slices on one end, yucca on the other. Garnish with cilantro.

For other tasty Peruvian recipes visit this website or consult Tony Custer's The Art of Peruvian Cuisine.

Argentinean Portobello Burger

Argentinean Portobello Burger
Argentinean Portobello Burger


  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Sicilian Sea Salt and Hudson Valley Homestead
  • 4 Peppercorns to taste
  • 4 tablespoons Aioli Sauce
  • 4 (1 ounce) slices Caciocavallo DOP cheese (or garlic lovers coud use wild garlic gouda)


Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, mix together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Brush grill with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese and during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Be sure to add a tablespoon of Aioli sauce to each mushroom cap for extra flavor.

Serve in wheat burger bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions.

Moqueca Baiana (Brazilian dish)

Moqueca Bahiana/Photo by: Janaina Roberge
Moqueca Bahiana/Photo by: Janaina Roberge


  • 2 kg (4.4 pounds) fish (robalo) cut in pieces
  • 3 tomatoes sliced in cubes
  • 2 onions sliced in cubes
  • 1 coriander bouquet chopped
  • lemon juice (4 medium lemons)
  • 200 ml palm oil
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • Salt (to taste)
  • four medium eggs (boiled and sliced in halves)


Clean and wash the fish very well, cut in pieces and reserve.

Chop the onions, the tomatoes and the coriander, mix all this ingredients and add a pinch of salt.

In a casserole type pan, make layers of seasonings and fish. Drizzle everything with coconut milk and bring to high heat with the pot uncovered for 15 minutes. When boiling, drizzle with palm oil and wait until it boils again. Drizzle with lemon juice when it is bubbling, add the sliced eggs and cover the pan. Leave it carefully for another 15 minutes.

Serve with white rice.

Mi favorite South American cuisine is:

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Cazuela de Ave (Chilean Chicken Stew)

Chilean Chicken Cazuela
Chilean Chicken Cazuela


  • 6 pieces of chicken
  • Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 24 1- inch cubes
  • 6 small potatoes, peeled
  • 6 pieces of fresh or frozen corn on the cob (2 inches each)
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) chicken broth
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced fresh cilantro


In a large soup kettle or Dutch oven, place the chicken, squash, potatoes, corn, carrots and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

Serveover rice in a shallow soup bowl. Serve with hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper andcilantro or parsley.Good for6-8 servings.

If you would like to learn more about Chilean cuisine and recipes you may consult Mirtha Umana-Murray's Three Generations of Chilean Cuisine 

Guyanese  Baked Stuffed Snapper
Guyanese Baked Stuffed Snapper

Guyanese Baked Stuffed Fish


  • One whole fish (snapper or queriman) weighing 3-4 lbs, scaled and cleaned

  • 3 tsp margarine

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 large Onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups bread crumbs

  • ¼ chopped Onion

  • 1 hot pepper, seed removed and chopped

  • 2 tsp lime or lemon juice

  • 1 tomato, sliced


  1. Split the fish lengthwise to expose the cavity.

  2. Rub the fish inside and outside with a mixture of 1 tablespoon margarine, salt, pepper and garlic. Let stand while preparing stuffing.

  3. In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons of margarine, sauté half of the onions until soft, add bread crumbs, chopped onions, hot pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper. The consistency of the stuffing must be moist.

  4. Fill cavity of the fish with stuffing. Secure edges with skewers or sew together.

  5. Place fish in a buttered baking dish. Arrange remaining Onion slices and tomatoes over fish. Sprinkle withbread crumbs. Add 1 cup of water to dish.

  6. Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes.

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