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Ecuadorian Foods

The culinary tastes of the inhabitants of this South American country 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 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 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 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 preferred; on the northern coast, coconut 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 given to soups, which 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 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 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 stewed, fried or boiled. Bread, side dishes, desserts made from it. Green bananas 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).


Rice 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 rarely used.

Potatoes and other vegetables

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

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


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 always served on the table.

In each region, ceviche, a cold seafood soup, 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.


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 eat, because they 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 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 cultivated in Ecuador.


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.


This product included in many dishes. Eggs used in the traditional Ecuadorian breakfast, which includes mashed banana and cheese. Umitas considered a popular food. A mixture of eggs, onions, cheese wrapped in corn leaves and boiled. Eggs 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 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 seasoned with chili for spice. They 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.

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National dishes – what to try

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


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

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

Chicharron – salty pork skin chips for beer.


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 put inside. Ecuadorians make sweet pies with fruit fillings.


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

Chifles – banana chips.


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


  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.


This 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 cut into pieces, poured with lemon juice, salted and pepper.

It left to marinate for 10 minutes, then add a little cornmeal. Garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes fried in a pan. Chunks of fish 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 used as a side dish.


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

Coconut flan

This is a South American variation of the Spanish cream caramel dessert. It prepared on the basis of coconut milk and eggs. Coconut flakes added to the milk-egg mass, which gives an unusual taste. Flan 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 made from the leaves of the Amazonian holly or other herbs. Due to the high amount of caffeine, the traditional drink is strong.

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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 mixed with fruit juice, cinnamon, brown sugar. This drink, called Canelazo, 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 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.


  1. The ribs boiled in salted water with herbs until the meat is tender.
  2. The liquid filtered, the meat cut and put back.
  3. To make dumplings, sifted flour combined with an egg.
  4. 200 ml of the resulting broth, in which pork fat previously dissolved, poured into the mixture.
  5. Balls made from the finished mass; cheese put in the middle.
  6. Potatoes and chopped cabbage added to the remaining broth.
  7. When the vegetables almost ready, dumplings 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 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.


  1. Beat butter with sugar until smooth.
  2. Eggs driven into it, mixed thoroughly.
  3. Milk, a little vanilla essence, mashed potatoes 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 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 peeled, seasoned with caraway seeds, salt and pepper. They 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 fried separately.

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


  1. The meat fried in butter until golden brown.
  2. Broth and wine poured into the container, sprinkled with herbs.
  3. The food stewed until the chicken is tender.
  4. It 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 cooked.

Ecuadorian Foods
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