Friday, May 7, 2010

Peruvian food, El Hueco, Redwood City

Ceviche pescado (GF)

I won't lie. Peruvian food is not the easiest cuisine to approach gluten-free. Most of the menu at most restaurants is off limits. Peruvian cuisine has a strong Asian influence, so there is a lot of soy sauce used. Mix that with sauces often thickened with bread or crackers and braising in beer...if you don't eat ceviche - skip it. But if you do, and you are willing to have limited choices, the flavors are bright and rich and unique. The recipes for Peruvian food often aren't that difficult, but the ingredients are not always easy to source resulting in new flavors for most American palates.

I had heard about a new Peruvian place on Chowhound, and a friend of ours used to live in Peru. It was perfect - time for a dinner party. The restaurant, El Hueco, is a small place in a strip mall. The service very attentive. The food is cooked to order so it is relatively slow, but the company was good and Jason juggled Gabriel, so it didn't feel slow. Overall, I really enjoyed the meal. The highlight for me was the ceviche pescado. It is made to order, so more sashimi style. The sauce had the perfect balance. My friend declared everything very "Peruvian" and authentic. Worth checking out.

Here are some pics of the meal. For tips on eating Peruvian gluten free, scroll down to the end.

Ceviche mixto (GF)

Ocopa - Potatoes in Herb Sauce

 Peruvian Fried Rice

Quinoa (Vegetarian and GF)

Chupa Mariscos 

 Pescado a lo Macho (GF)

 Lacuma Ice Cream (GF)

El Hueco
593 Woodside Rd
Redwood City, CA 94061

Tips for Eating Peruvian Gluten Free

  • Always ask about soy sauce, flour, crackers, cookies, saltines, bread in sauces and marinades and stir fries
  • Check for beer in any braised dishes. Peruvian corn beer is now made with barley as well, and so is not gluten-free.
  • If it sounds like it came from Asian cuisine - it probably has soy sauce. 
  • Beef is often marinated in soy sauce, fish is often safer
  • Ceviche is a good bet, but check to make sure it doesn't have soy sauce 
  • Confirm many times about GF if it is a restaurant that isn't used to catering to GF diners.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited that you reviewed El Hueco! I've been reminiscing about delicious Peruvian culinary experiences and had seen the comments on Chowhound about the restaurant and was planning to try it out. I'm salivating after reading your post and will definitely go check it out. Love the blog!