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Peruvian Causa Recipe


[This is a modified version of the recipe I found at peru-recipes.com]

Peruvian causa

A friend of mine has fallen for a Peruvian man who is quite proficient in the kitchen. When I asked her about their favorite traditional Peruvian dish, her eyes lit up and she immediately declared, “causa!”

She went on to explain the idea behind causa – pretty much anything wrapped in mashed potatoes. This must have appealed to the Irish in me, because I was in quite a hurry to try this dish out.

While the Lima-style causa is filled with crabmeat, this recipe can be altered endlessly according to preference. Sometimes it is stuffed with freshly baked fish, shrimp, or even chicken. I decided to use ingredients that I often have readily available.

[serves 4-6]

Potato roll:

  • 2.5 lbs of potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 lime, cut into halves
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • salt
  • pepper


  • 2 cans of tuna (or 1 lb of fresh fish)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of mayonnaise*
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced


  • slices of mozzarella cheese (or avocado)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • handful of olives
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • parsley as garnish

*[homemade mayonnaise: 1 egg & 1 tbsp vinegar + 1.5 cups oil added slowly in food processor]

Cut the potatoes in half and boil them in a large pot with a pinch of salt. Drain them. Squeeze in the lime juice and add the oil, jalapeño, salt, & pepper. Mash well and form into a ball.

Place the potato ball onto a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper. Place another sheet on top and roll the potatoes out to about 1/2″ height with a rolling pin (I use an empty wine bottle!).

In a bowl, mix the tuna, mayonnaise, and onion. Spread this evenly onto the potato layer. Top with the diced tomatoes.

Here’s the tricky part- remove the top plastic/wax sheet and roll it up! Or, if you doubt your rolling skills, you can just leave it as flat layers.

Now it’s time to make it look good! Top it off with the slices of cheese or avocado, sliced egg, cut or whole olives, shredded carrot, and parsley.

Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve cold. Enjoy!!

January 16, 2009 2:50 am

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