Eating Peruvian Guinea Pig (Cuy) Delicacy + Recipe

Eating Peruvian Guinea Pig (Cuy) Delicacy + Recipe

Guinea pig (Cuy) is a delicacy that is very typically associated with typical Peruvian cuisine but it is also eaten throughout other countries of South America such as Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia.

The Peruvian guinea pig dish is mostly served on special occasions rather than as a meal eaten regularly but is readily available for adventurous tourists to try in restaurants or at different food stalls. It is definitely one of the weirder foods to try on your travels!

There are different methods of cooking guinea pig Cuy meat, the main ones are Cuy al horno (sometimes also called Cuy al palo or Picante de cuy), and Cuy Chactado. Cuy al horno is baked or spit-roasted whilst Cuy chactado is fried in spices.

The following guinea pig (Cuy) recipes are based on the traditional authentic Peruvian national dish, Cuy, named so because of the noise a guinea pig makes (pronounced ‘kwee’).

How to cook Cuy al horno recipe

Peruvian cuy and sides
A typical meal of the Peruvian guinea pig dish cuy al horno served with salad and potatoes.


  • Guinea pigs (cuy) – 4
  • Garlic – 1 bulb
  • Green or yellow peppers – 2
  • Ground, roasted peanuts – 100g
  • Cumin
  • Chili panca
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Hard boiled eggs – 4
  • Bamboo skewer sticks


  1. Crush or finely chop the garlic and combine with salt, cumin and pepper to create a seasoning.
  2. Marinate the guinea pig in the seasoning and leave to rest for 2-4 hours.
  3. Prepare a hot grill, put a bamboo skewer stick through the body of each guinea pig and place on to the grill, turning occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a pot of boiling water.
  5. Finely chop the peppers, mix with chili panca, minced garlic and the ground peanuts.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a frying pan with a little oil and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the potatoes are boiled, cut into slices and place on the plate with the cooked guinea pig, then drizzle over the sauce.
  8. Enjoy!

How to cook Cuy chactado recipe

Cuy chactado peru
Cuy chactado is a Peruvian guinea pig fried in spices


  • Guinea pig
  • Flour
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil


  1. De-hair the guinea pig, gut and clean it, then pat it dry
  2. Mix the cumin, salt and black pepper, then rub it in to the guinea pig
  3. Cover the guinea pig in flour and place it in a pan of hot oil
  4. Turn occasionally to cook evenly
  5. Prepare a salad of tomatoes, onions and potatoes
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Eating guinea pig (cuy) in Cuzco, Peru


Of course, it’s better to try Cuy from authentic sellers in cities such as Cuzco or Lima. We were very lucky to experience Peruvian food on one of the street food tours in Lima which was an incredible experience.

If you are interested, we went on this street food tour in Lima which I would highly recommend because it was combined with historical sightseeing and had a real local feel to it. If you’re like us then you love discovering incredible recipes from all over South America and tasting the delicacies of the continent.

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