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Recipe: Chilcano de pescado (Peruvian fish broth)

Not to be confused with the other chilcano!. This is basically a fish broth that is often served as a complimentary starter in cebicherías. It’s simple, tangy, and comforting.

I’ve been craving chilcano de pescado for a while but didn’t have fish bones on hand. We had grilled fish the other day and I saved the bones to make a batch of broth.

Chilcano de pescado (Peruvian fish broth)
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Chilcano de pescado


  • Bones from a medium to large fish
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 – 2 litres water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 6 green onions, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 500 gr cassava
  • 2 – 3 limes
  • hot chillies (optional)


  1. Place bones in a pot with onion, carrot, celery and leek. Cook on medium heat until vegetables are softened.
  2. Add enough cold water to cover everything, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. In the meantime boil cassava in salty water for 20 – 30 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  4. Strain broth, season with salt and pepper, and serve with chopped green onions, cassava, a good squeeze of lime juice and some nice hot chilli.


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