PeruCHI of San Francisco

Originally published on BehindTheFoodCarts.com on August 5, 2015
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You can’t visit as many food trucks as we have and not notice the increasing popularity of Asian Fusion PeruCHI · San Francisco2cuisine. In fact, we devoted an entire chapter to it in our cookbook, Food Truck Road Trip. We’ve seen a Korean version of a Philly cheesesteak, Asian-inspired Southern BBQ, and even the all-American hot dog served with Eastern flair. But while a lot of chefs explore Asian fusion to see what happens when the flavors and techniques of one culture compliment—and often elevate—another, Dan Prudhomme serves the Asian-Peruvian food found at PeruCHI food truck to share a little-known type of cuisine that has a rich, long-standing heritage in Capon, the Chinatown of Lima, Peru.
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While most people have never even heard of Peruvian-Chinese food, this style of cuisine has been in Dan’s family for literally generations. His father-in-law, Domingo, worked in his father’s restaurant in Lima since he was a boy, learning first-hand the tools and techniques of Chinese chefs. Eventually, Domingo married and he opened three restaurants of his own. Despite their success, Domingo and his wife, Angela, couldn’t let go of their dream to raise their children in the United States, and eventually immigrated in 1993. “But they could never quite get their own restaurant off the ground here,” explains Dan. “They were always working in other people’s restaurants . So PeruCHI culminates a 20-year dream for Domingo and his wife and their daughter Maricela, my wife. At all of the family events these guys are cooking, and just continually wowing the entire audience. I realized this family has something going for it with all of this passion for food. So we figured we got to do something for them. How do we get them back in business?”
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“I realized this family has something going for it with all of this passion for food.” – Dan Prudhomme

Dan found the answer after researching the practicality and figuratively small financial commitment of running a food truck. PeruCHI started up last September, and has been going strong since, taking the familiar flavors of Chinese food and adding a Peruvian twist. Like the Arroz Chaufa, a fried rice dish packed with Peruvian flavors. “I think what continually wows me is the response we get from the fried rice,” Dan says. “Everybody here has had fried rice. But when they try this fried rice, half the time they make the trip back just to tell me that this was like nothing they ever had before.”
Less familiar, but quintessentially Peruvian, is the lomo soltado, grass-fed beefPeruCHI · San Francisco5 tenderloin marinated in Domingo’s secret marinade, then sauteed with onions, tomatoes, and spices and served with french fries and rice. Dan has a particular recommendation for this one. “If you’re smart, you will scramble it up so all the marinade soaks into the rice and fries. When it’s all stirred up, it’s divine, absolutely killer.” Wash it all down with a Chicha Morada, a beverage dating back to pre-Incan times. Made with cinnamon, cloves, fig leaves, pineapple, and purple corn imported from Peru, it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and plenty of exotic flavor.
PeruCHI · San Francisco7No matter what you try, Dan and the PeruCHI team look forward to helping you discover something new. “I love watching people get excited when they come here,” said Dan when asked about San Francisco’s food scene. “It’s really fun watching people have this fun time and forget about all their stress during the day and just enjoy food with their friends and family, try everything out. I really like the scene, just to see how much people enjoy it really.” ~PeruCHI – San Francisco, CA
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