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Spotlight on Chifa Du Kang: Bringing  Peruvian Chinese Gastronomy to the Mainstream  



Introducing “Chifa” to South Florida, Chifa du Kang is a family-owned restaurant that honors the rich cultural exchange between China and Peru.  A unique fusion of Asian culinary techniques with bold Peruvian flavors, Chifa Du Kang is part of a revolution in Miami’s food movement bringing a taste of Peruvian Chinese culinary gastronomy to the mainstream. 


Chifa Peruvian cuisine’s diverse menu, 5,000 years in the making,  is gaining popularity around the United States. The mix of flavors reflecting a synthesis of cultures in Peru, a melting pot of immigrants that arrived from different parts of the world, has melded into culinary Peruvian gastronomy. 


Lima, the capital of Peru, with a population similar to that of  New York City, has over 6,000 Chinese restaurants, more than double of that in the Big Apple. The name of these establishments, known as chifas, is derived directly from the cuisine they serve. Wherever you go in Peru, from the Andean peaks to the Amazon jungle, you can find these eateries.



A tourist visiting Lima’s Chinatown might imagine chifas to be typical Cantonese restaurants, similar to those in the United States, but chifa is actually a combination of Chinese and Peruvian food cultures that naturally evolved over the span of more than a century. Based on ingredients such as ginger, soy sauce, and scallions, the cuisine involves stir-frying in woks or steaming in bamboo baskets.


But instead of strictly replicating dishes from their home country, Lima’s earliest generations of  Chinese families began incorporating native Peruvian ingredients into their cooking. Nowadays, a third of the city’s population eats chifa dishes daily.


For Peruvian families, chifa is synonymous with comfort food, and for Peruvians in the US, it’s  a connection to home.



Coming to America

Ansen Tou, owner of Chifa Du Kang, with two locations in the Miami area, migrated to the US over 15 years ago to study. His parents, originally from China, migrated to Peru in the ’80s, opening three popular restaurants. When they decided to move to America with their son, they brought a desire to introduce the richness of Peru’s culinary culture and create a niche for Peruvian Chinese gastronomy in the States.


Settling in Miami, they opened their first Chifa Du Kang on Bird Road in 2008, introducing this authentic South American culinary culture to South Florida’s diverse restaurant scene. 


After over a decade of popularity at their Bird Road location, the Taos expanded their operation, opening their Kendall location in December 2021. In the midst of an off-premise boom in the restaurant industry, their Kendall location began immediately offering take-out and delivery to customers in this expansive Miami neighborhood. 


With 90% of Chifa Du Kang’s clientele being Peruvian nationals, an increasingly expanding customer base composed of Brazilians, Cubans, and an array of diverse nationalities is indicative of the widening palette of the Miami food culture.



When the Kendall location opened, in the midst of a very challenging time, it was difficult to fill the establishment’s open staff positions. With 60% of the business coming from delivery orders, this could have left them in a lurch. 


But by partnering with Sauce, one of the fastest growing delivery platforms in the nation that allows restaurants to reconnect with their customers by facilitating the delivery experience, the need to hire delivery drivers was eliminated.  


“Freeing us up to invest our time and focus on other aspects of the business,” Tao offered, "the pressure to hire drivers was lifted.” 


With Sauce’s technology upping Chifa DuKang’s game,  Tao credits the Sauce partnership with the ability to deliver further away.


“Sauce’s technology gives us the support we need to take our business to the next level.” When they opened their second location, they knew that delivery and take-out would be a key to their success and “we needed a partner who would uphold the integrity of our business by delivering on time and keeping orders straight.”


And because his customers can order directly through their website, or through the restaurant’s social media pages, “the operation runs smoothly.”  


“We love  having Sauce as a partner,” Tao offered. “Technology is a great asset. It gives us the confidence that our orders will reach our customers quickly and reliably. It’s really helped us to get off to a great start.”   



The Menu

Ancient Peruvians discovered healthy eating long before it became en vogue. In fact, even before colonization began, they were keenly aware of the nutritious advantages of eating quinoa, potatoes, corn, and other superfoods. Chifa Du Kang’s menu holds true to the traditions and culinary spirit of the Chinese Peruvian culture with a variety of  traditional options available. Below are some of customer favorites:



Top 5 Delivery Menu Items

#1 Chaufa: Peruvian's version of Chinese fried rice, Arroz Chaufa contains rice, sweet peppers, green onions, onions, garlic, soy sauce, scrambled eggs, chicken and a dash of sesame oil, ginger and cumin. 

#2: Pollo Chijaukay: Crispy fried chicken with savory oyster sauce

#3 Tallarín con Pollo: Stir-fried noodles with chicken and vegetables.

#4  Kamlu Wantan: Fried pork wontons topped with pork, chicken, and  shrimp

#5: Lomo Saltado with French Fries


The Miami community has embraced Chinese Peruvian Gastronomy and the boom has been growing steadily with other Asian culinary genres joining in on the trend. “Peruvian gastronomy has grown a lot in the last decade,” Tao added, with diverse culinary cultures  like Fusion Nikkei, Peruvian Japanese food, entering the Miami food scene. 


Locations:

Bird Road: 9899 SW 40th ST Miami, FL 33165 - (786) 953-7165

Kendall: 9899 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165 - (786) 953-7165




By Eileen Strauss

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