The culinary tastes of the inhabitants of this South American country were influenced by the Indians and the location between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes. The main products are fish, meat, rice, potatoes, but the cuisine of Ecuador on the coast and in the mountains is different. As for drinks, Ecuadorians prefer mate tea, fruit juices, and beer.

What is Ecuadorian cuisine

The local cuisine was formed on the traditions of the Indian tribes who live in the country. In the mountains, they consume more meat; the inhabitants of the coastal zone prefer seafood.

Formation history

The basis of the local cuisine is made up of dishes of the Indian peoples who lived in Ecuador (Kara, Kitu, Quechua). During the colonization of Latin America by the Spaniards, culinary traditions remained almost unchanged.

The colonialists sought to adopt the customs of the local residents, so European influence is little felt in Ecuador.

Instead of legumes and root vegetables, exotic yucca, cassava, and fried bananas are considered a popular side dish here.

The specifics of traditional cuisine

In the highlands and on the coast, traditional food is different. Mountain dwellers prefer meat, rice, vegetables, maize porridge. They eat goat, pork, lamb, chicken.

The following dishes are popular in the Andes:

  • tamale – meat with hot sauce in corn dough;
  • fretada – pieces of pork fried with lard;
  • churasko – grilled meat with salad;
  • hornado – baked pork marinated with beer or chicha;
  • llapingachos – fried potato pancakes
  • humitas – corn porridge with cheese boiled in maize leaves.

People living near the Pacific Ocean eat fish and seafood (shrimp, shellfish, crabs), plantains (vegetable bananas), beans.

On the southern coast, spicy food is preferred; on the northern coast, coconut is often added to food. Here they cook ceviche (from fish and seafood), esneboyado (fish soup with onions), korviche (based on plantain with fish filling), guatita (cow’s stomach in peanut sauce with potatoes), pancakes with meat.

Distinctive features

A special place is given to soups, which are prepared according to centuries-old Indian recipes. These include corn cobs, mashed bananas, potatoes, seafood, and fish.

Every restaurant prepares ceviche – a mixture of seafood marinated in lime and hot red peppers. National delicacies include soups with fried calf’s hooves, blood, and bull’s genitals.

Meat consumption is increasing in modern Ecuadorian cuisine.

The following meat dishes are considered popular:

  • beef steak (Lomo);
  • fried goat or lamb carcass with peanut sauce (Seco de chivo);
  • stewed chicken served with rice and avocado (Seco de pollo);
  • roast piglet (Lechon).

The Europeans call the most exotic food the dish fried kui (guinea pig), which is cooked in the mountains. Locals eat tapir, armadillo, llama and bear meat.

A feature of the local cuisine is a large amount of yucca and green bananas in the diet. The root is stewed, fried or boiled. Bread, side dishes, desserts are made from it. Green bananas are ground into soups, served with meat or fish. On the street, they sell fried banana slices (Patacones).

The original dish is fried kui.

Main products used

The majority of the population lives on the Pacific coast.

Ecuadorians eat fish and seafood. Dishes must include rice, potatoes, maize.

Locals love exotic fruits (guava, mora berries, pepino, cherimoya).

Cereals

Rice is consumed several times a day as a side dish. Buckwheat is a delicacy, but because of the high price, not every family can buy it. The stores sell couscous, bulgur, quinoa, but these cereals are rarely used.

Potatoes and other vegetables

Boiled potatoes in Ecuador are considered a common side dish for fish and meat. On its basis, the famous soups Locro de papas and Yaguarlocro, cutlets with cheese filling are prepared.

On the coast, this vegetable is replaced by legumes. Lentils, beans, garlic, tomatoes, yams, cassava, and various types of hot peppers are often used in cooking.

Seafood

Fish and seafood are rich in the diet of the inhabitants of the coastal zone. They use sea bass, halibut, trout, salmon, tilapia, cod. Ecuadorians love fish balls, which include tomatoes, herbs, bananas, and garlic. On holidays, grilled shrimp with lemon juice is always served on the table.

In each region, ceviche, a cold seafood soup, is prepared according to different recipes. Fish stew with tomato, garlic and coconut milk is popular on the north coast. In the south, the main dishes are Sorvina (different types of sea bass) and Levanta muerto spicy soup.

Fruit

The main suppliers of fruit are the Amazon and the Pacific coast.

In addition to tangerines, kiwi and pineapples, exotic specimens grow in the country:

  1. Cherimoya. The fruit resembles a round green cone. In the middle is white pulp with black grains containing neurotoxins. It tastes like an apple, pineapple or pear. But the seeds cannot be eaten, because they are poisonous.
  2. Pepino. The melon pear has a round shape, the rind is bright yellow with purple stripes. The juicy heart is light yellow with a sweet and sour taste that resembles pear and watermelon.
  3. Guava. Oval or round fruits can be red, green or yellow in color. The middle is soft, slightly sweet, with a lot of seeds. Some species smell like strawberries. Guava is used for the production of marmalade, jam, juices.
  4. Tuna. The prickly pear fruit has a sour taste, but it quenches thirst well. Depending on the variety, there are white, orange, light green, purple fruits.
  5. Sour cream apple. It weighs between 4.5 and 7 kg. The unripe fruit is dark green in color, but turns light yellow as it ripens. There are thick thorns on the peel. The pulp is white, similar in consistency to cotton wool. The taste is reminiscent of lemonade and strawberries.
  6. Kuruba and banana granadilla. It is an oblong fruit of a vine weighing from 50 to 150 g. The shell is yellow or dark green in color. In the middle there is a sweet and sour orange mass with a spicy aroma.

Ecuadorians love mora berries and Turkish delight. The former are similar to mulberries, but have a sour taste. Lucuma has a thin brown-green skin with a red tint. The heart is bright orange and has a sweet taste. Strawberries, mangoes, carom, passionfruit, peaches, watermelons, plums are cultivated in Ecuador.

Cereals

In Ecuadorian cuisine, maize predominates among the cereals. Ecuadorians consume sweet and savory corn cobs. Instead of bread, they eat tacos. They prefer boiled white corn (mote) or fried yellow corn (choklo) for a snack.

Eggs

This product is included in many dishes. Eggs are used in the traditional Ecuadorian breakfast, which includes mashed banana and cheese. Umitas is considered a popular food. A mixture of eggs, onions, cheese is wrapped in corn leaves and boiled. Eggs are served as a side dish for fish or meat.

Ecuadorian culinary traditions

Ecuadorian cuisine has retained its identity despite the influence of Bolivian and Peruvian culinary traditions. It can be conditionally divided into 4 zones.

In the mountainous area, meat (pork, goat meat, chicken), potatoes, corn, and legumes prevail. On the Pacific coast, they love tuna, shrimp, halibut, trout, and shellfish. Southern dishes are spicy because many herbs are added to them: wild garlic, basil, citronella, lemongrass, mint.

In the Galapagos, the inhabitants eat fish and meat, which are seasoned with chili for spice. They are served with corn, rice, potatoes. The basis of the diet of the Amazon Indians is fruit, river fish (catfish, piranha), game. For garnish, locals cook yucca, bananas, rice.

National dishes – what to try

Popular snacks include chifles, chicharron, empanadas. Ecuadorians prepare delicious soups from meat, vegetables and seafood. Fish in coconut sauce is considered a traditional dish on the southern coast.

Chicharonron

Fried pork skin, which resembles crispy chips, is considered a popular snack in Latin America. The fat is cut off, the skin is cut into strips. They are salted, pepper, and seasoned with spices.

The strips are sent to bake in the oven at 150 ° C for 1-1.5 hours. Then the pieces of pork skin are dipped in heated oil. When they start to swell, they are laid out on a towel.

Chicharron – salty pork skin chips for beer.

Empanadas

This is a common street food in Ecuador. In appearance, empanadas resemble fried pasties, in the middle of which there is a juicy filling. Beans, meat, cheese, mashed potatoes are put inside. Ecuadorians make sweet pies with fruit fillings.

Chifles

The second type of street food is green banana chips. The plantains are cut into thin slices, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Then they are deep-fried. Chifles is served as a snack with vegetables. Fried bananas are often used as a side dish for soups.

Chifles – banana chips.

Locro

In Ecuador, “lokro” means soup, so there are many dishes that include this word. Locro de papas (potato soup) are loved by the locals.

To prepare it, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 kg of potatoes;
  • 500 ml of milk;
  • 1 liter of water;
  • 100 g of cheese;
  • 100 ml cream;
  • 1 avocado and leek
  • 3 egg yolks;
  • 2 cloves of garlic;
  • parsley, green onions, pepper, salt.

Preparation:

  1. Chop the white part of the leek and fry in a saucepan.
  2. Add diced potatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour water, salt and pepper.
  4. When the vegetable is tender, pour in the milk and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour spices and chopped garlic into the liquid. Remove the soup from the stove.
  6. Combine the yolks with cream, pour the mixture into the vegetables in a thin stream, not forgetting to stir.
  7. Put the saucepan on low heat, bring to a boil. Stir constantly to prevent the yolks from curdling.
  8. When serving, garnish with parsley, avocado, cheese.

Fritada

This is fried pork with onions. Cut pieces of meat, add chopped garlic and onions. Then add salt, pepper, cumin. Pour 1 tbsp into the pan. beer and stew until tender. Served with potatoes, boiled mote corn, fried bananas and avocados.

Fretada – fried pork with onions.

Fish in coconut sauce

Encocado de pescado is popular with residents of the Esmeraldas province on the north coast. Seabass is cut into pieces, poured with lemon juice, salted and pepper.

It is left to marinate for 10 minutes, then add a little cornmeal. Garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes are fried in a pan. Chunks of fish are added to vegetables, fried. Then pour in coconut milk, bring to a boil. At the end sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Rice or fried bananas can be used as a side dish.

Esneboyado

Fish soup is eaten at any time of the day. The classic recipe includes tuna, tomatoes, onions and yucca. But any fish and vegetables are added to a modern dish. Esneboyado is considered an effective hangover cure.

Coconut flan

This is a South American variation of the Spanish cream caramel dessert. It is prepared on the basis of coconut milk and eggs. Coconut flakes are added to the milk-egg mass, which gives an unusual taste. Flan is served with orange syrup. The result is a sweet, non-cloying and refreshing dessert.

Coconut flan with an unusual taste.

Ecuadorian traditional drinks

Despite the large coffee plantations, mate tea has become the country’s favorite drink. It is made from the leaves of the Amazonian holly or other herbs. Due to the high amount of caffeine, the traditional drink is strong.

People often drink fruit juices, juices from woody tomatoes and berries. Well quenches thirst juice of naranjilla (orange fruit of the bush of the family Solanaceae). It tastes like pineapple, passionfruit and strawberries.

Ecuador’s beer is considered the finest on the continent. In South America they love the brands Belle, Pilsner, Club. Ecuadorians drink Aguardiante cane vodka, which means fire water.

In the highlands, it is mixed with fruit juice, cinnamon, brown sugar. This drink, called Canelazo, is served hot. On the basis of yucca or corn, the locals make low-alcohol chicha, which resembles beer.

Homemade recipes

Ecuadorian cuisine is unusual but delicious. It includes many recipes for soups, meat and fish dishes that are easy to prepare at home.

Corn dumpling soup

The following ingredients are used to prepare the soup:

  • 0.5 kg beef ribs;
  • 450 g potatoes;
  • 5 cabbage leaves;
  • 0.5 tbsp. cheese;
  • 100 ml of milk;
  • 2 liters of water;
  • 200 g fried corn flour;
  • 1 egg;
  • 2 tbsp pork fat;
  • salt, green onions, parsley.

Preparation:

  1. The ribs are boiled in salted water with herbs until the meat is tender.
  2. The liquid is filtered, the meat is cut and put back.
  3. To make dumplings, sifted flour is combined with an egg.
  4. 200 ml of the resulting broth, in which pork fat was previously dissolved, is poured into the mixture.
  5. Balls are made from the finished mass, cheese is put in the middle.
  6. Potatoes and chopped cabbage are added to the remaining broth.
  7. When the vegetables are almost ready, dumplings are placed in a container.
  8. Then stew for 10 minutes over low heat.
  9. Pour milk into the soup and sprinkle with herbs, cook until tender.

Banana cake

This dessert is made from the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. banana puree;
  • 2 tbsp. wheat flour;
  • 1.5 tbsp. Sahara;
  • 3 eggs;
  • 5 tbsp. milk;
  • 4 tablespoons butter;
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder.

Preparation:

  1. Beat butter with sugar until smooth.
  2. Eggs are driven into it, mixed thoroughly.
  3. Milk, a little vanilla essence, mashed potatoes are added to the mixture.
  4. Separately combine flour, baking powder, salt.
  5. Then mix both parts and lay out in a mold.
  6. The cake is baked at 350 ° C for about 60 minutes.

Banana cake for tea.

Rice with shrimps

To prepare a dish, you need 1 kg of shrimp. The seafood is peeled, seasoned with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. They are placed in boiling water.

After acquiring a pink color, the shrimps are taken out. Pour rice (5 tbsp.) Into the liquid. Red onion (450 g), one bell pepper and a tomato are fried separately.

At the end, add parsley. When the water has evaporated, the vegetables are combined with the rice. Then a little vegetable oil is poured in, boiled until the cereal is cooked.

Ecuadorian rice with shrimps.

Chicken pirate

The national Ecuadorian dish consists of the following ingredients:

  • chicken meat (fillet and legs) – 220 g;
  • chicken broth – 40 ml;
  • dry white wine – 30 ml;
  • butter – 30 g;
  • parsley, dill.

Preparation:

  1. The meat is fried in butter until golden brown.
  2. Broth and wine are poured into the container, sprinkled with herbs.
  3. The food is stewed until the chicken is tender.
  4. It is served with olives with minced meat inside, deep-fried egg, stewed mushrooms and ham.

When serving, place the meat in the center of the plate and pour over the sauce in which it was cooked.