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Ecuadorian Meals: 19 Greatest Ecuadorian Dishes You Have To Attempt

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We didn’t know the way passionate the individuals of Ecuador have been about their meals till we spent two weeks touring all through the nation to get pleasure from completely different Ecuadorian dishes from completely different areas. Ecuadorian meals amalgamates historical past, mixing indigenous and colonial cooking methods and dishes. You possibly can style conventional meals with roots within the Amazon, Spanish colonial meals in Quito, and Andean dishes within the surrounding Mountains. Whereas the Ecuadorian shoreline is understood for its seafood dishes, the inland area has hearty grilled meats and river fish.

The nation’s structure and historical past end in a massively thrilling trendy delicacies, with loads of conventional Ecuadorian meals to strive. Of all of the South American international locations, Ecuador is one in every of our favorites by way of delicacies.

Conventional Ecuadorian Meals

Traditional Ecuadorian FoodTraditional Ecuadorian Food

It’s exhausting to pinpoint a single nationwide dish in Ecuador. There are the famed roasted guinea pigs, deep-fried bolon de verde, and grilled pincho meats. On this information, we’ll introduce you to essentially the most conventional meals you could strive in Ecuador. Whether or not you fancy a hearty soup or pan de yuca, we’ll discover a conventional Ecuadorian dish for you.

1. Fanesca

traditional ecuadorian food fanescatraditional ecuadorian food fanesca

Fanesca is a wealthy, hearty soup deeply ingrained in Ecuadorian tradition and custom, notably related to the Easter season. This Ecuador dish symbolizes the fusion of Indigenous and Spanish influences.

The substances mirror the nation’s biodiversity, incorporating 12 completely different sorts of beans and grains, resembling lentils, peas, corn, and broad beans, every representing one of many apostles. Bacalao (salt cod) is at its middle, with milk and pumpkin thickened right into a creamy consistency. It’s each nourishing and complicated in taste.

It’s usually consumed throughout Holy Week throughout Ecuador however guests can order it at eating places in Ecuador, notably in Quito.

Fanesca is commonly garnished with hard-boiled eggs, fried plantains, cheese, and typically empanadas, including layers of texture and richness.

2. Llapingachos

ecuadorian food Llapingachosecuadorian food Llapingachos

Llapingachos are a conventional Ecuadorian dish identified for his or her pleasant style and texture. These fried potato muffins are a staple within the nation’s delicacies. They’re primarily potato pancakes, constructed from a combination of mashed potatoes and cheese, seasoned with a touch of annatto for colour and taste.

As soon as fashioned into patties, they’re pan-fried till golden and crispy on the skin whereas remaining smooth and gooey on the within. Llapingachos are generally loved throughout Ecuador, particularly within the Andean areas.

They’re usually served as a aspect dish however can simply take middle stage in a meal. Accompaniments for llapingachos differ, however they’re usually served with a aspect of avocado, aji (a spicy Ecuadorian sauce), and curtido (a sort of pickled onion salad).

3. Guatita

ecuadorian food guatitaecuadorian food guatita

Guatita means ‘little stomach’ in English, and this dish consists primarily of beef tripe, a meat minimize taken from the abdomen. It’s an absolute staple in Ecuadorian delicacies, and the meat is cooked in a scrumptious peanut sauce and served creamy with boiled potatoes. The wealthy peanut sauce is spiced with cumin, garlic, and cilantro, a flavorsome physique for the marginally rubbery tripe meat. For an additional kick, picked onions are sometimes served on the aspect. It’s straightforward to see why guatita has such a popularity. Some even declare guatita as the last word hangover treatment – we’ll allow you to be the choose of that.

Guatita is among the dishes influenced by Spanish colonialism in Ecuador. Spanish use of beef tripe dates again to the sixteenth century.

4. Ceviche

ecuadorian cuisines cevicheecuadorian cuisines ceviche

Ceviche is a well-known dish, and chances are high you’ve already heard of this fashionable fish dish. It’s stated to have originated in Peru, however many international locations boast their very own diversifications. Ecuadorian ceviche actually takes its influences from the Incas and Spanish colonialism across the Ecuadorian and Peruvian border. Given the proximity of Peru and Ecuador, it’s additionally no shock that the dish is equally fashionable in each international locations.

Ceviche is a chilly uncooked fish and seafood dish, fashionable all through Latin America. The seafood is marinated in lime and lemon juice and blended with onions omatoes, and cilantro. It usually consists of shrimp, however can be made with fish or different seafood.

The fish and seafood are usually served chopped into little chunks and served with onions. It is available in many various varieties, together with a much less conventional vegetarian Ceviche for the trendy world which makes use of bell pepper and avocado as an alternative, however shrimp ceviche is our prime advice. Served chilly, shrimp ceviche is really scrumptious.

5. Encebollado

ecuadorian food encebolladoecuadorian food encebollado

Encebollado is a hearty fish stew made with tuna, yuca (cassava), tomatoes, onions, and spices. It’s usually served with pickled crimson onion and tomatoes on the aspect. It’s particularly fashionable as a hangover treatment.

Heading to the Ecuadorian coast, you’ve acquired to do this delectable fish stew. Encebollado is a skinny soup served with cumbersome fish (often tuna), cassava, and pickled onions. The phrase ‘encebollado’ actually interprets as ‘cooked with onions’, which is a good clue as to what this dish principally will get its style from. Encebollado actually packs a punch with taste, and its skinny stew sauce is gentle and aromatic – the right easy addition to its most important characteristic; fish.

Encebollado rose to reputation as an alternative choice to ceviche and actually hit its heights of fame within the Nineteen Seventies. In fact, now, you will discover the dish extensively accessible in eating places and avenue stalls. It has even unfold away from its birthplace on the shoreline, and you will discover it additional inland in locations like Quito.

6. Arroz Marinero

foods from ecuadorarroz marinerofoods from ecuadorarroz marinero

Arroz marinero is just seafood rice, a massively fashionable a part of coastal delicacies in Ecuador. This conventional dish will be discovered throughout South America and is much like Spanish paella—three guesses the place it originated.

Its most important substances are rice, sauteed shrimp, clams, onion, and spices, all cooked in a flavorsome seafood broth for added style. Whereas one of the best place to style this dish is undoubtedly the Ecuadorian coast, you will discover it all around the nation in eating places. If you’re on the lookout for inspiration for Ecuadorian meals to cook dinner at residence, that is additionally an actual desk characteristic of a dish. With all of the clam shells, it’s a actually dramatic-looking dish to strive at residence.

7. Tigrillo

traditional ecuadorian dish Tigrillotraditional ecuadorian dish Tigrillo

In case you get pleasure from hashbrowns for breakfast, you’ll love Tigrillo, a conventional Ecuadorian breakfast dish. Overlook a fried egg and get extra conventional; tigrillo serves mashed inexperienced plantain alongside scrambled eggs, melted cheese, and a scattering of sauteed onion. If you’re on the lookout for inspiration for breakfast, tigrillo is a wonderful wager. You often order it alongside a cup of piping sizzling espresso, and it’s the right approach to begin your day.

The mashed plantain will be sweeter or actually savory, relying on how ripe it was. Yellow plantains are sweeter, whereas inexperienced plantains are usually utilized in dishes like this to offer a extra savory style. The dish is usually served with sizzling sauce on the aspect and with Ecuadorian espresso.

Tigrillo originated within the coastal areas of Ecuador, though it’s equally widespread within the Andean area. You could find it in most cafes in these areas or in important cities.

8. Bolon de Verde

ecuadorian cuisine bolon de verdeecuadorian cuisine bolon de verde

Bolon de Verde are pan-fried inexperienced plantains, primarily a dumpling aspect dish. This can be a actually fashionable Ecuadorian meals, and we’d go so far as to say they’re competing for that nationwide dish title. These inexperienced plantain dumplings are crammed with cheese, pork, or shrimp and fried. They’re usually eaten for breakfast or as a snack.

The flexibility of those little dumplings is what makes them so fashionable. You possibly can eat them at breakfast, served alongside fried eggs, or you’ll be able to snatch them up from street-side distributors for a fast lunch or afternoon snack. They’re served piping sizzling and with a deliciously crispy exterior.

It’s extensively thought that bolon de verde originated in Ecuador someday after the plantain arrived within the early sixteenth century. Nevertheless, the precise creation story is a thriller. This tasty deal with is unquestionably value making an attempt when visiting.

9. Pincho

typical ecuadorian food pinchotypical ecuadorian food pincho

Pincho is a Spanish dish that merely refers to a small snack. It’s a variation of tapas, often served on a cocktail stick or small piece of bread. Consider it as a bar snack quite than shared desk plates. Given the Spanish affect on Ecuador, it’s no surprise this sociable dish caught on. It’s now probably the most conventional dishes you could strive in Ecuador.

The most well-liked pincho in Ecuador is a avenue meals kebab. Relying on the place you go to in Ecuador, it’s possible you’ll discover them known as pinchos or chuzos. This dish is constructed from a combination of chorizo, plantain, rooster or beef and plantain chunks.

10. Choclo Con Queso

traditional ecuadorian food choclo con quesotraditional ecuadorian food choclo con queso

Choclo con queso is a scrumptious aspect dish or fast snack in Ecuador. Avenue meals distributors usually serve the cooked mature corn as a standalone dish, though you’ll additionally discover it in some eating places and cafes as a aspect dish. The toasted corn is served alongside creamy contemporary cheese. It has a punchy style due to a wholesome dousing of black pepper, garlic, and a easy coating of melted butter. Choclo con queso hits the spot whenever you need a wholesome snack for a fast craving.

Corn has been cultivated in Ecuador for 1000’s of years and is a principal crop of the Andean hillsides. Tough estimates say that corn cultivation has been ongoing throughout the nation for over 6,000 years.

11. Enconcado de Pescado

Enconcado de PescadoEnconcado de Pescado

One factor coastal Ecuador is legendary for is its use of coconut sauce. Subsequently, you’ll immediately know the place pescado enconcado, a fish dish served in thick coconut milk and lime juice, comes from. This tasty dish is a lip-smacking mixture of candy and tangy, with tender white fish calmly flavored in a creamy sauce. Tomato, onion, and bell peppers are often added to additional bulk the sauce.

Normally, pescado enconcado is served alongside rice or fried plantain. It’s a hearty meal selection, good for anybody craving an intense taste.

12. Locro de Papa

Locro de PapaLocro de Papa
Ecuadorian meals collection: potato soup or “locro”

Locro de papa is one in every of Ecuador’s tastiest soups. Mostly referred to as easy potato soup, it’s easy but efficient—a shocking combination of potatoes, contemporary cheese, garlic, and broth. The dish has roots within the Andean highlands, and its reputation comes from how heat it’s in wet climate. In case you go to Ecuador within the wet season, maintain your eyes peeled for the tasty locro de papa.

In English, ‘locro’ is only a meat or vegetable stew. Whereas locro de papa is potato soup, the ‘stew’ reference signifies how hearty the dish is. It’s a closely filling meal; no surprise it’s a conventional favourite.

13. Colada Morada

colada moradacolada morada

Does anybody have a candy tooth? Colada morada will fulfill your candy craving. This eye-catching purple drink is the sweetest Ecuadorian dessert and wealthy in fruit juice. It accommodates a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, pineapple, and purple cornflour. It’s tremendous candy and a good way to strive a few of Ecuador’s fruits.

Whereas colada morada is likely to be a fun-looking drink to strive in Ecuador, it has a extra somber backstory. It’s historically loved on the Day of the Useless, each November the first, when Ecuadorians bear in mind these they’ve misplaced and go to cemeteries to take flowers and clear graves. It’s a lesser-known model of the Mexican Day of the Useless.

14. Seco de Chivo

seco de chivoseco de chivo

Seco de chivo is a wealthy goat stew. It’s braised in a heavy garlic, cumin, tomato sauce, onions, and cilantro sauce. Count on loads of flavors and goat meat completely blanketed in a wealthy brown sauce. Seco de chivo is often served alongside yellow rice and fried plantains and is historically a dish for particular events like household celebrations. Fortunately, you may also discover it in loads of eating places for on a regular basis consuming.

This dish is vastly fashionable within the areas of Loja and Santa Elena. It’s a conventional variation of a seco, a thick stew.

16. Pan de Yuca

pan de yucapan de yuca

Pan de yuca is among the most scrumptious Ecuadorian meals selections. These tiny, bite-size balls of bread are constructed from yuca flour or cassava starch and cheese. You could find them as avenue meals, snacks, or starters in eating places and cafes. The smooth bread shortly wins you over, and the cheese provides a deliciously sturdy taste.

Yuca bread is discovered predominantly in Colombia and Ecuador. Colombia calls its sister dish pan de bonos and makes use of cornstarch, an ingredient Ecuadorian Yuca bread skips. The dish is alleged to have originated alongside the nation’s border in Manabi as an answer to the shortage of ordinary flour. The plentiful cassava starch created the right bread different, and ‘yuca bread’ was born.

15. Plantain Chips


Plantain chips are a wholesome snack accessible in supermarkets and from avenue distributors. Plantains are much like bananas; actually, to the untrained eye, you may simply mistake the 2. The one distinction is that plantains are extra starchy and far greater. Plantain chips are constructed from fried inexperienced plantains (not ripe plantains). They’re a terrific supply of fiber and wealthy in vitamins like potassium and nutritional vitamins A and C.

You could find fried plantains all around the world. The plant initially got here from Southeast Asia and is present in Africa and South America. Ecuador actually caught onto the plantain hype in 1910 when it entered the banana commerce, at which period it additionally launched the banana-twin plantains.

16. Cuy Asado


The overwhelming majority of the world might take into account guinea pigs as a pet. Nonetheless, these cute little rodents are historically from the Andes of South America. And earlier than they have been in a pet store close to you, they have been conventional dishes because the pre-Colombian instances. Indigenous peoples have eaten roasted guinea pig for 1000’s of years, and you may nonetheless strive the dish at present.

Grilling meat is historically executed over sizzling coals for a barely smoked high quality, and we propose grabbing some sizzling sauce as a condiment. Asado is usually loved with a heavy-bodied crimson wine, and we advocate treating your self to a sit-down restaurant expertise for this dish.

Asado is a conventional Andean dish usually marinated in garlic, cumin, and salt and roasted entire. It’s merely grilled meat served at a barbeque or grill restaurant. If you’d like a protein-filled meal in Ecuador, search for an asado. It could embody any meat, together with rooster, beef, and goat. In Ecuadorian delicacies, you’ll be able to even discover grilled guinea pig (extra on that later).

Asado is a closely conventional meals, and folks have been grilling meat for hundreds of years in Ecuador. Meats like guinea pig have existed amongst indigenous communities for 1000’s of years, whereas meats like beef have been launched by Spanish colonization.

17. Papi Pollo

Papi pollo is actual consolation meals; in the event you’re craving a hearty meal, you’ll love this Ecuadorian dish. It consists of roast rooster served alongside heaps of French fries doused in ketchup and mayonnaise. If the chef is feeling additional beneficiant, you may also discover a fried egg served on the aspect of the plate. It’s half quick meals and half protein overload. In essence, papi pollo actually fills your abdomen.

You could find papi pollo at loads of informal eating places and takeaways throughout Ecuador. Whereas roasted rooster is an age-old Ecuadorian dish, this adaptation is a extra trendy love affair. It’s now such a traditional that we simply needed to embody it on this information.

18. Hornado

Traditional Ecuadorian Dishes HornadoTraditional Ecuadorian Dishes Hornado

Hornado is a beloved Ecuadorian dish that options slow-roasted pork as its centerpiece, celebrated for its succulent meat and crispy pores and skin. This culinary delight is ready by marinating the pork in a mix of garlic, cumin, and different spices and slow-roasting it till it achieves an ideal steadiness of tender inside and crunchy outdoors.

Hornado is a well-liked dish throughout Ecuador, present in markets, festivals, and household gatherings, symbolizing festivity and neighborhood.

It’s historically served with llapingachos (potato pancakes), mote (hominy), ensalada (a contemporary salad), and aji, a spicy Ecuadorian sauce that provides a kick to the dish. In some areas, avocado slices and curtido, a sort of pickled onion relish, are additionally widespread accompaniments, enhancing the flavors and textures of the meal.

19. Bandera

Ecuadorian Flag colours

Bandera is a famously colourful Ecuadorian dish. Its origin is a little bit of a thriller, but it surely’s principally believed to have popped up within the Nineteen Seventies. Bandera is a pot-luck model dish within the sense that it combines a number of dishes on a big platter—a mix-and-match meals. You are inclined to get sliced avocado, white rice, and a few sort of ceviche (extra on ceviche later). Salad with contemporary tomato can also be widespread.

The phrase ‘bandera’ interprets to flag in English. Bandera dishes are discovered all through South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. They’re usually colourful to imitate the colours of the nation’s flag. The Dominican Republic has a very tasty bandera dish.

Bandera is a good possibility for a fast introduction to Ecuadorian meals. It’s probably the most widespread dishes you could strive in Ecuador, and it may be discovered at most eating places and cafes.

Typical Ecuadorian Meals: FAQs


Whether or not you’re craving Ecuadorian soups, breads, or meat dishes, relaxation assured—the nation has loads of selections. We personally love the number of Ecuadorian delicacies. Earlier than you go, although, try these prime FAQs.

What’s a typical meals in Ecuador?

Bolon de Verde is a massively fashionable meals in Ecuador; they’re tiny little deep-fried balls of inexperienced plantains.

Fried plantains are a preferred avenue meals in Ecuador and a terrific snack on the go.

Inexperienced plantain chips, chocolate, and yuca chips are all wonderful selections for conventional snacks in Ecuador.

What’s Ecuador primarily identified for?

Ecuador is understood for its coastal dishes, carb parts like potato and rice, and meats like pork, beef, rooster, guinea pig inland and fish on the coast. Ecuadorian meals is heavy in carbs and protein. It additionally makes use of plantains and fruits.

Ecuadorian gastronomy is massive on citrus marinating juices and meats, from roasted pork to particular rooster dishes. In case you really feel actually adventurous, you’ll be able to strive conventional dishes like cuy asado and even pollo a la cola—rooster cooked in Coca-Cola. Ecuador is a unbelievable spot for foodies and people wanting a contemporary stamp of delicacies in South America. All the things has a pointy taste.

Cheers to Ecuadorian Meals

Best things to do in Quito Ecuador Sunset at Casa GangotinaBest things to do in Quito Ecuador Sunset at Casa Gangotina

It’s fascinating to see how indigenous influences affect delicacies, resembling the normal Andean guinea pig meat. Equally, you’ll be able to hint darker colonial historical past via plentiful issues like lime juice. Tasting Ecuadorian meals is a approach of higher understanding the nation’s historical past and cultural make-up.

ecuador marketecuador market

Are you visiting Ecuador? Take a look at our information on whether or not it’s protected to go to proper now, full with well timed updates on have the most secure keep doable given present occasions and developments. If you’re contemplating a Galapagos cruise, you’ll be able to learn all about our expertise on this Galapagos Cruise evaluate.

Ecuador has been one in every of our favourite international locations to go to, and we hope you might have an exquisite time. Attempt as many of those meals as doable—Ecuadorian delicacies is unimaginable.

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