Peruvian Pescado a lo Macho Recipe

As a fan of seafood and spicy food, today I am pleased to present you a dish that I love, Pescado a lo Macho, exquisite stew of fish and shellfish in a delicious spicy sauce . Surely they will be delighted with this recipe that is part of the extensive gastronomic menu of the Peruvian coastal area. Let’s cook!

How to prepare fish a lo macho

Preparing a rich and succulent Pescado a lo Macho is very simple and economical. You can use your favorite fish and seafood mix. The sauce that covers it is based on tomato, garlic, onion and the star is the chili. The most important thing is to achieve an excellent consistency in the sauce to be able to bathe a tasty graneadito rice as a companion.

🔪 Prep Time 30 minutes
🍲 Cook Time 25 minutes
⏲️ Total Time 55 minutes
🍽️ Servings 6 servings
🔥 Calories 160 calories

Ingredients fish a lo macho

  • 6 white fish fillets approximately 200 grams each fillet
  • 250 grams of prawn tails
  • 250 grams of sliced ​​squid
  • 200 grams of precooked octopus cut into slices
  • 12 clean and unshelled fan shells
  • 12 mussels in their shell
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon pisco
  • 4 tablespoons of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons of blended yellow chili
  • 2 tablespoons of blended mirasol chili
  • 2 tablespoons of blended panca chili
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 1/2 cup of mussels or fish broth
  • 1/2 cup of milk cream
  • 1 slice of hot pepper
  • Flour without preparation amount needed
  • Oil amount needed
  • Salt, pepper, cumin to taste
  • Coriander to taste finely chopped
  • White rice and cooked cassava to accompany


  1. Wash the mussels (mussels) well, removing any remaining impurities from the shell, then place in a large pan with two cups of water, cook for a few minutes until they open. Remove them from the water, take the mussels out of their shell. Reserve the water and mussels separately.
  2. Season the fish fillets with salt, pepper and garlic, put enough flour on a large plate, spread the fillets well and leave them there for a moment.
  3. Place a skillet on the burner over medium heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and then add a little bit of butter, the pisco and sauté the scallops for about 30 seconds. Remove all the content on a plate and reserve.
  4. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, add the prawns, octopus and squid, 2 tablespoons of white wine and sauté for 1 minute. Add the cooked mussels and sauté for a couple of seconds. Remove all the content to the plate where we already have the shells.
  5. We continue with the same pan, heat about 6 tablespoons of oil well, brown the fish fillets for a couple of minutes per side. Place them on a plate and reserve. Then, add a little water to the pan and scrape up everything that has been stuck to it, reserve it because we will use it for the sauce dressing.
  6. In the second pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and the rest of the butter, brown the garlic and onion until transparent. Add the yellow chili, the mirasol chili and the panca chili, brown for 1 more minute. Now add the tomato paste and the rest of the white wine, mix well and brown for a couple of minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Season with salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Add half of the mussels broth, when it breaks the boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  7. After that time, raise the heat, add the scraping from the pan that we saved before, the rest of the mussels broth and the milk cream to the dressing, mix well. If the consistency of the sauce is still very liquid, you can add a little cornstarch diluted in water, mixing well so that no lumps form, try and rectify the seasoning. As soon as it starts to boil, add the slice of hot pepper, the chopped tomato and the shellfish with all the juice they have retained, place the pieces of fish on top, sprinkle with the chopped coriander and let it boil for a minute. Put out the fire.


Now we are ready to serve our exquisite Pescado a lo Macho. Place on each plate a generous portion of graneadito rice, yucca and place a piece of fish and bathe it with the sauce. If you like you can place more chili, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese on the table, according to the taste of each diner.

Have three little secrets kitchen so that this dish comes out much better.

Tips and tricks

  • You can prepare mirasol chili cream at home by boiling the dried yellow chili for a few minutes and then blending it with a little of that same water until you get a cream.
  • If you can’t get fresh mussels, you can use fish broth by getting fish head and skeleton from the fishmonger, which you cook in water for about 15 minutes.
  • If you decide to use whole fish, to fry it we recommend making incisions formed laterally on both sides of the back of the fish, then season it by passing it through flour and frying in abundant hot oil.

Additional information

The Macho Fish is a typical dish of the Peruvian coast, the most used fish are the croaker and the Cojinova .

Regarding its origin, several renowned Peruvian cuisine researchers tell us that this stew was born about 70 years ago in a restaurant whose owner was called “The Cold Macho” , which is why they baptized it as Pescado a lo Macho, relating it to the nickname of its inventor.

Another version indicates that the name is because you have to be “macho” to eat it because of the amount of spice it contains.

We can find it in several versions, with whole fish or fillets, or red or yellow, but always keeping the typical Creole seasoning that made it so famous.

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