Pescado a lo Macho Recipe

Discover the fiery flavors of Pescado a lo Macho - a Peruvian delight that'll tantalize your taste buds! Unleash the spice today.

Pescado a lo Macho

    Pescado a lo Macho

  • Cuisine: Peruvian
  • Category: Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 300 calories

Pescado a lo Macho is a mouthwatering Peruvian seafood dish renowned for its bold and vibrant flavors. This culinary gem showcases the fusion of fresh fish with a spicy, creamy, and slightly tangy sauce, making it a delightful culinary experience.

The dish typically features white fish fillets, such as tilapia or sole, that are seasoned and seared to perfection. The real magic happens with the sauce, which is a symphony of flavors. It includes aji amarillo paste, a quintessential Peruvian yellow chili pepper paste, that infuses the dish with a spicy kick. Alongside, sautéed onions, garlic, and bell peppers add depth and color, while diced tomatoes and a touch of white wine (if used) contribute a rich and savory dimension.

To balance the spiciness, heavy cream is introduced, creating a luscious and creamy sauce that envelops the fish. The name "a lo Macho" suggests the dish's bold, macho, or strong flavor profile, which comes from the assertive use of chili paste and spices. Pescado a lo Macho is often garnished with fresh cilantro, offering a touch of herbaceous freshness.

This Peruvian classic is a harmonious combination of flavors and textures, with the heat of the chili balanced by the creaminess of the sauce. It's a beloved and indulgent treat, representing the diverse and vibrant cuisine of Peru. Whether enjoyed with rice, potatoes, or other accompaniments, Pescado a lo Macho is sure to tantalize your taste buds with its unique blend of ingredients and regional flair.


Unlock the secrets of Pescado a lo Macho recipe – a sizzling Peruvian dish. Learn to create this spicy, creamy masterpiece at home.


  • 4 fish fillets (typically white fish like tilapia or sole)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of aji amarillo paste (Peruvian yellow chili paste)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of fish or seafood stock
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of white wine (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Method Instructions

  1. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish fillets and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Remove the fish from the skillet and set it aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed and sauté the chopped onion, garlic, and bell peppers until they are softened.
  4. Stir in the aji amarillo paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken.
  6. Pour in the white wine (if using) and let it reduce for a few minutes.
  7. Pour in the fish or seafood stock and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  8. Stir in the heavy cream and let the sauce thicken slightly.
  9. Return the cooked fish fillets to the skillet and let them simmer in the sauce for a couple of minutes to heat through.
  10. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve the Pescado a lo Macho hot with rice or potatoes.

Recipe Video

Pescado a lo Macho

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Recipe Tags: Pescado a lo Macho, Pescado a lo Macho Recipe, Recipe


Serving Pescado a lo Macho is an exciting part of the experience as it's all about presenting this flavorful Peruvian dish with flair. Here's how to serve it:

  • Plating: Start by placing a portion of the creamy sauce on a plate or a shallow bowl. The sauce will be the base for your dish.
  • Fish Fillets: Carefully set a seared fish fillet on top of the sauce. Make sure to spoon some of the sauce over the fish; this allows it to soak up the rich flavors.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle the dish with freshly chopped cilantro. The vibrant green adds a pop of color and freshness.
  • Accompaniments: Pescado a lo Macho is often served with white rice or boiled potatoes, which help balance the spiciness of the sauce. You can place a portion of rice or potatoes alongside the fish or beneath it.
  • Lime Wedges: Provide lime wedges on the side. The tangy citrus is a common accompaniment in Peruvian cuisine and can be squeezed over the dish to enhance its flavors.
  • Enjoy: Your Pescado a lo Macho is ready to be savored. Encourage your guests to mix the sauce, fish, and accompaniments together to fully appreciate the fusion of flavors and textures.


  1. Adjusting Heat: The level of spiciness in Pescado a lo Macho can be tailored to your taste. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of aji amarillo paste. Conversely, if you love heat, feel free to add more. Remember, the cream in the sauce helps balance the spiciness.
  2. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh fish fillets for the best flavor. It's essential to ensure the fish is not overcooked; it should be tender and flaky.
  3. Aji Amarillo Paste: Aji amarillo paste is a key ingredient. You can find it in many international or Latin American grocery stores. If you can't find it, you can try using a substitute like a mix of yellow bell pepper and a spicy chili paste.
  4. Fish Stock: If you can't find seafood stock, you can use vegetable or chicken stock as a substitute.
  5. Rice or Potatoes: Traditionally, Pescado a lo Macho is served with white rice or boiled potatoes. Both options complement the dish nicely, so choose your favorite.
  6. Lime Wedges: The fresh lime wedges not only add flavor but also cut through the richness of the dish. Squeeze some lime over your plate just before digging in.
  7. Garnish: Don't skip the cilantro garnish. Its fresh, herbaceous flavor is a lovely contrast to the rich and spicy sauce.
  8. Timing: The fish cooks quickly, so have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. This ensures that nothing gets overcooked.
  9. White Wine: While white wine is optional, it can add a subtle depth of flavor to the sauce. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can skip it.
  10. Taste as You Go: Taste the sauce as you prepare it to adjust the seasonings. If it's too spicy, you can add more cream to mellow it out.
  11. Presentation: Take your time when plating the dish. The way you present it can make it even more appealing.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you can't find some of the specific ingredients for Pescado a lo Macho, you can consider these substitutes:

  1. Aji Amarillo Paste: If you can't find aji amarillo paste, you can use a mix of yellow bell pepper and a spicy chili paste like Sriracha or a blend of red pepper flakes and paprika to replicate the color and spiciness.
  2. Seafood Stock: If you can't find seafood stock, you can use vegetable or chicken stock as a substitute. They'll provide a good base for the sauce's flavor.
  3. Fish Fillets: While traditionally, white fish like tilapia or sole is used, you can use other white fish fillets such as cod, haddock, or even salmon. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly as thicker fillets may take longer to cook.
  4. Heavy Cream: If you're looking for a lighter option, you can use half-and-half or whole milk. Keep in mind that this will make the sauce less rich but still creamy.
  5. White Wine: If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can omit the white wine. You can substitute it with a splash of chicken or vegetable broth for a bit of liquid and flavor.
  6. Bell Peppers: If you have trouble finding red and yellow bell peppers, you can use green or orange peppers. The flavor may vary slightly, but it won't significantly alter the dish.


Bravo! You've mastered the art of Pescado a lo Macho. Share this Peruvian gem with loved ones and savor the spice in every bite.

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