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January 05, 2023 3 min read

With the stress of daily routine, there’s not always time to have a complete and good-looking meal, but you desperately try not to fall in the “fast food trap”.

If you’re looking for something that’ll take you no time to cook and with ingredients that are very easy to find,Tacu tacu is the answer to your problems. 

Where does Tacu tacu come from?

Tacu tacu actually has a pretty interesting story that reminds us how a country’s gastronomy is always defined firstly by the people’s way of living.

Supposedly,Tacu tacu has its origin in the humblest regions of the country, where people (mainly of African descent) would take all their leftovers and mash them together so that nothing went to waste.

This meal looks like a big tamale or maybe a pancake, and even though it’s considered a ‘last minute idea’ recipe it is beloved by Peruvian culture. 

One of the main things to remember when makingTacu tacu, is that the ingredients will have better adhesion if they are at least a few hours ‘old’.

This means you can cook them ahead even a couple of days before so that they’ll ‘stick together’ nicely when mashing them up.

Be patient when making this meal because it takes a little practice to get them in the right consistency, but when you master it, it will be totally worth it.

Keep reading to learn this easy recipe that will take you no longer than an hour to make. ThisTacu tacu recipe serves roughly 2-4 portions. 

Ingredients for Tacu tacu

  • 2 cups of Lima beans, canary beans or pinto beans. They must be cooked, drained and slightly stir-fried. You can get beanshere
  • 2 cups of white rice, steamed or cooked. You can get the ricehere
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced. You can also use garlic paste likethis one
  • 1 tablespoon of ají amarillo chopped. You can also use ají amarillo paste likethis one.
  •  3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil.
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil. 
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • ½ cu of water or chicken stock.
  • Ham concentrate.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Pepper to taste. 


  • Place a pan with a bit of vegetable oil and put it on medium heat. After mincing or chopping  the onion, throw it and caramelize it for about three minutes. 
  • Add garlic or garlic paste, oregano and the ají amarillo paste and let cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is done. 
  • Rinse and cook the beans with water or a little chicken stock for 5 minutes. Once the beans are done mash them with a potato masher and form a paste with it. 
  • Add the ham concentrate and the rest of the seasonings to the garlic and onion mix. Stir constantly and let it slowly form an even paste. 
  • In a separate pan, cook the rice or steam it. Once the rice is done combine it with the mashed beans and mix them until it looks uniform.
  •  Add the sauteed mix to the rice and bean mixture and mix well. Add olive oil to the pan once again and turn the heat on medium. 
  • Pat the mix and shape it by hand, creating big portions like pancakes. A recommended size is 5 inches diameter. 
  • Take each one of the portions or pancakes and place them on the pan on medium heat, moving them constantly. Remember to flip the pancake after 2 minutes or when you see the sides slightly brown colored but the insides or the center part still looks ‘mushy’. 
  • Serve them over a bed of steamed rice with the brownest side up. You can drizzle them with Creole sauce or olive oil and with a side of fried egg or fried bananas.

Tacu tacu can be served by its own like a quick and filling lunch or it can be a side dish of plates like fried fish, seared steak, fried eggs or eggplant.

You can also play with the toppings of this dish, trying sauces like ají amarillo sauce (which you can gethere). Don’t be afraid to play with the ingredients, remember that’s exactly how this meal was born!