Hearty Cau Cau – A Traditional Peruvian Stew Recipe

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Exotic Cau Cau Stew is a vibrant, traditional Peruvian dish, characterized by its tender tripe and potato pieces simmered in a fragrant, turmeric-infused broth. Accentuated with hints of mint and aji amarillo, this stew is a celebration of textures and flavors, offering a unique culinary journey. Each bite delivers a burst of spice and warmth, embodying the heart and soul of Peruvian comfort food.

In this article, we will show you everything you need to know about how to make Cau Cau. It is straightforward to make! So, let’s dive right in and get started!

Often considered a soulful delicacy, Cau Cau is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary experience that embodies the diversity and warmth of Peruvian culture. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, you’ll find that crafting this dish is straightforward and enjoyable

From selecting the perfect ingredients to mastering the cooking techniques, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive right in and embark on this exciting culinary journey!

What Is Cau Cau?

Cau Cau is a traditional Peruvian stew known for its richly flavored yellow sauce. The main ingredients are tripe (cow’s stomach lining) and diced potatoes. The dish is hearty and aromatic, seasoned with turmeric, aji amarillo (yellow chili pepper), garlic, and onions. 

Often garnished with mint or parsley, it embodies the rich diversity of Peruvian cuisine, offering a blend of indigenous and African influences. This comfort food is commonly paired with rice, making it a satisfying meal.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto Replace potatoes with radishes or cauliflower florets. Ensure the bouillon paste is sugar-free.
  • Paleo Again, swap out potatoes, this time with sweet potatoes. Opt for natural, homemade stock, and avoid processed ingredients or additives.
  • Gluten-Free Ensure that any bouillon paste, stock, or seasonings used are certified gluten-free.
  • Whole30 Use compliant bouillon or stock without additives. Replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes and ensure aji amarillo paste has no added sugars or non-compliant ingredients.
  • Vegetarian Substitute beef tripe with firm tofu or a hearty mushroom variety like portobello, maintaining the dish’s texture.
  • Vegan Follow the vegetarian modifications and also ensure bouillon paste or stock is plant-based.

Recipe Directions

  • Boil Tripe: Boil tripe for 30 minutes, drain.
  • Simmer with Mint: Refill the pot with fresh water, add tripe and mint. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Cut Tripe: Cool and chop into chunks.
  • Sauté: In oil, sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
  • Season: Add turmeric, cumin, black pepper, salt, and aji amarillo paste. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Tripe & Stock: Add tripe and 1 cup of stock; boil for 10 minutes.
  • Potatoes: Add and cook until tender.
  • Peas: Stir in and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Serve: Garnish with mint. Enjoy hot!

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

  • Protein Variations: Swap beef tripe for chicken, shrimp, or even tofu for vegetarian versions.
  • Rice Add-On: A side of Peruvian white rice makes Cau Cau even more hearty and fulfilling.
  • Corn: Add boiled Peruvian giant corn (choclo) for an extra bite and texture.
  • Olives: Scatter some sliced black olives on top for a salty, tangy touch.
  • Boiled Eggs: Sliced boiled eggs on top can provide an additional layer of richness.
  • Avocado Slices: Fresh slices of avocado can offer a creamy contrast to the stew’s warmth.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: A sprinkle of these can elevate the heat for those who enjoy extra spice.

Can I Make Cau Cau In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

Slow Cooker

  • This method intensifies flavors by slow-cooking for hours. 
  • After sautéing onions, garlic, and spices in a pan, transfer everything to the slow cooker, including tripe, and let it simmer. 
  • Add potatoes and peas in the last couple of hours to prevent overcooking.

Instant Pot

  • This speeds up the cooking process with pressure cooking. 
  • Use the sauté function for onions, garlic, and spices
  • Add other ingredients, set to manual high pressure, and significantly reduce the traditional stovetop cooking time.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

Store-Bought Broth

  • It’s convenient, especially when short on time. However, choose a high-quality, low-sodium version to control seasoning. Some store-bought broths contain preservatives and additives, so reading the label is vital.

Homemade Broth

  • Making your own ensures a fresh, rich flavor and gives you control over ingredients, avoiding additives and excess sodium. The collagen from simmered bones in homemade broth can elevate the texture and taste of Cau Cau.

How To Serve ? 

  • Presentation: Opt for a deep bowl to highlight the rich, colorful stew and allow for ample broth.
  • Temperature: Cau Cau is best enjoyed hot, right after cooking. This maximizes the melding of flavors.
  • Garnish: A sprig of fresh mint on top adds vibrancy, compliments the taste, and evokes authenticity.
  • Accompaniments: Traditionally, it’s paired with white rice on the side, soaking up the rich flavors.
  • Lime Wedges: Offering lime wedges allows diners to add a zesty freshness.
  • Crispy Bread: A slice of crusty bread can be an excellent companion, perfect for savoring every drop of the flavorful broth.
  • Serve Promptly: Once ready, serve immediately to retain warmth and aroma.

Perfect Side Dishes

  • White Rice: A classic accompaniment, rice absorbs the stew’s flavors and adds a mild counterpoint.
  • Quinoa: A nutritious Andean grain, it offers a nutty flavor and unique texture.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Lightly seasoned vegetables, like broccoli or green beans, provide a fresh contrast.
  • Tostones or Plantains: Their slight sweetness contrasts the savory stew.
  • Crisp Green Salad: A tangy vinaigrette over mixed greens can cleanse the palate between bites.
  • Salsa Criolla: This Peruvian red onion relish adds freshness and tang.
  • Cornbread: Its sweetness and soft texture are a delightful contrast to Cau Cau’s spiciness and richness.

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: After cooling, place the stew in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze the stew in suitable portions for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the stew a day before serving. The flavors deepen and meld when allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating: Warm the stew gently over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or broth if it has thickened too much during storage.
  • Final Touches: Refresh the flavors with a sprinkle of fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice after reheating, before serving.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Cau Cau Tacos: Use the stew as a filling for tacos. Add fresh toppings like avocado or salsa criolla.
  • Enchiladas: Use as a filling for enchiladas, topped with a mild cheese and baked.
  • Pasta Sauce: Add to pasta for a unique fusion dish, perhaps with a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Sandwich Spread: Blend into a thicker consistency and spread on sandwiches or toast.
  • Pie Filling: Use the stew for a savory pie or empanada.
  • Omelet Filling: Mix into an omelet for a hearty breakfast.
  • Soup Base: Thin with broth to create a rich soup, adding veggies or grains.


  • Clean Tripe Well: Rinse the tripe thoroughly and boil it before simmering to ensure it’s clean and tender.
  • Uniform Pieces: Cut the tripe and potatoes into uniform sizes for even cooking.
  • Balance Spices: Adjust the amount of turmeric and aji amarillo to achieve a vibrant color and a balanced heat level.
  • Simmer Gently: Cook the stew slowly to meld the flavors and tenderize the tripe.
  • Fresh Herbs: Add fresh mint towards the end of cooking to maintain its bright flavor and aroma.
  • Lemon Brightness: Serve with lemon wedges to enhance flavors with a fresh, acidic touch.
Hearty Cau Cau - A Traditional Peruvian Stew Recipe

Hearty Cau Cau – A Traditional Peruvian Stew Recipe

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Course: Stew


Prep time


Cooking time







Cau Cau is a hearty Peruvian stew made primarily from beef tripe and potatoes. It’s comforting and tantalizingly flavorful, infused with spices and vibrant aji amarillo paste.


  • 1 Pound 1 Beef Tripe

  • 2-3 Springs 2-3 Fresh Mint

  • Quarts Water

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Cooking Oil

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Garlic Paste

  • 1 1 Medium Onion (Diced)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon 1/2 Aji Amarillo Paste

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • 1 Pinch 1 Pepper

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Turmeric

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Cumin

  • 1 Pound 1 Potatoes (Diced)

  • 1 Cup 1 Green Peas

  • 2 Cups 2 Tripe Stock

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Bouillon Paste

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Boil Your Tripe
    The first thing you need to do is get your tripe ready. To do this, you need to boil it for about thirty minutes.
  • Put New Water In The Pot
    Throw out the old water and fill the pot with fresh water. Put the trip in the bowl and add the mint. Let these two ingredients simmer for about thirty minutes before moving on to the next step.
  • Chop Up The Tripe
    Take the tripe out of the pot, put it on a cutting board, and let it cool down. Make sure not to throw out the water! When your tripe has cooled down, cut it into chunks.
  • Sauté Onions And Garlic
    Grab a pot or a pan and add a bit of cooking oil. Next, chop your onion and garlic and toss them in the pan. Make sure that it has heated up thoroughly and on a medium-high heat.
  • Add Some Seasoning
    Once the garlic and onion are soft, add the turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and salt. Stir until they coat the onion and garlic. Next, add your aji amarillo paste and stir it again. Allow these ingredients to cook for a further ten minutes.
  • Add The Tripe
    Grab your chopped tribe and add it to the pot. Next, add about one cup of stock into the mix and allow it to boil for about ten minutes before moving on.
  • Add Your Potatoes
    Add your potatoes to the pot and allow them to cook through before you move on to step eight.
  • Add The Peas
    Once your potatoes are cooked, add your peas to the stew and let them cook for about five minutes.
  • Serve Your Stew
    Scoop some of your stew into a bowl and put a little mint on top for a garnish. This stew is best enjoyed hot!
  • Enjoy The Fruit Of Your Labor
    With that, your stew should be ready to enjoy!
  • Equipment List
  • Japanese Donabe
  • Fine Mesh Sieve
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Chopsticks
  • Wooden Soup Spoons
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Sharp Knife
  • Instant Pot or Slow Cooker


  • Always use fresh tripe; it ensures optimal flavor and texture.
  • Adjust spiciness by varying the amount of aji amarillo paste.
  • For a thicker stew, reduce the broth quantity slightly.
  • Fresh mint not only adds flavor but also aids in reducing the tripe’s strong aroma.
  • It’s always best enjoyed hot; reheat leftovers only once to maintain quality.
  • Pairing with white rice enhances the overall dining experience.


Cau Cau Stew 11

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