The cuisine in South America is in many ways alike. But every country likes to put its twist. As well every country has its unique dishes.
Ecuador is no exception. Like in most countries in the coastal area seafood is the most common. In the mountain area (la Sierra) it’s more common to eat meat and potatoes, but in whole Ecuador, rice is being eaten daily. That also counts for soups. There are a ton of different delicious soups in this beautiful country. Tropical Ecuador is also full of fruit. From the fruit, we all know till strange looking but delicious and cheap fruit. For example, naranjilla, guanabana, granadilla, pitahaya, and so on. Traditionally there is quite a big difference in dishes from the coast and the Andean highlands, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find coastal Ecuadorian food in la Sierra or vice versa.
Street food / fast food
Humitas: is a Native American dish from pre-Hispanic times, and traditional food in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. It’s made out of corn, slowly steamed or boiled in a pot of water. Humitas are prepared with fresh ground corn with onions, eggs, and spices that vary from region to region, and also by each family’s tradition. The dough is wrapped in a corn husk but is steamed rather than baked or boiled. Ecuadorian humitas may also contain cheese. This dish is so traditional in Ecuador that they have developed special pots just for cooking humitas. Ecuadorian humitas can be salty or sweet.
Bolones: Bolon de Verde / green plantain balls stuffed with cheese, chorizo or chicharrones is another typical Ecuadorian (and South American) dish. The plantain is mashed into a dough, stuffed with cheese, pork, or both into round balls, and then fried until crispy.
Empanadas: are a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin Europe and Latin America. Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread with stuffing consisting of a variety of meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, and others. Other variants are: Empanadas de Morocho (made of corn and filled with rice), Empanadas de Verde (Made of green plantains), Empanadas de Viento (Made of flour filled with a little cheese and some sugar on top)
Cevichochos: a vegetarian ceviche of chocho beans (a grain-like seed with a lot of protein), tomato, onion, coriander, salt, lime, optional aji (hot sauce), and chifles (plantain chips).
Choclo: also referred to as Peruvian corn. Is a type of corn with a slightly different taste than the corn we are used to.In many cases sold as street food in combination with cheese. Or mixed with minced meat (Choclo-mix, mainly in the Santo Domingo area)
Pan de Yuca: is a type of bread made of cassava starch and cheese typical of southern Colombia and the Coast Region of Ecuador It’s mainly sold in public transport. But there are also some Yuca bakeries. as a variant, there is also Tortilla de Yuca.
Patacones: Fried green plantains, pounded flat with a hinged utensil.
Ecuadorian soups and stews
Encebollado: This is a fish soup from Ecuador, regarded as a national dish. It is served with boiled cassava and pickled red onion rings. A dressing of onion is prepared with fresh tomato and spices such as pepper or coriander leaves. It is commonly prepared with albacore, but also tuna, billfish, or bonito. It may be served with ripe avocado. This dish is usually served with chifles (plantain chips), plantains, and popcorn. It may be garnished with lime juice, Aji, or Ketchup.
Locro de Papa con queso: A creamy potato soup garnished with cheese and avocado. It is a typical soup from the Andes area. Typically locro is made using a specific kind of potato called “Papa Chola”, which has a unique taste and is difficult to find outside of its home region. The defining ingredients are corn, some form of meat (usually beef, but sometimes beef jerky or chorizo), and vegetables. Other ingredients vary widely and typically include onion, beans, squash, or pumpkin.
Fanesca: A soup traditionally prepared and eaten by households and communities in Ecuador during the holy week (Semana Santa). The components of fanesca and its method of preparation vary regionally or even from one family to another. It is typically prepared and served only in the week before Easter (Holy Week). It is a rich soup, with the primary ingredients being figleaf gourd(sambo), pumpkin(zapallo), and twelve different kinds of beans and grains including chochos (lupines), habas (fava beans), lentils, peas, corn, and others, together with bacalao (salt cod) cooked in milk. Due to the Catholic religious prohibition against red meat during Holy Week. It is also generally garnished with hard-boiled eggs, fried plantains, herbs, parsley, and sometimes empanadas.
Guatita: Cow stomach (tripe) stew accompanied by potatoes, peanut sauce, and rice
Seco de Chivo: Goat stew served with rice and salad
Seco de Pollo: Chicken stew served with rice, plantains, and if you would like with salad as well
Sopa de Bolas de Verde: Soup made of plantain dumplings stuffed with meat and vegetables and served in a beef broth with corn and yuca.
Drinks and beverages from Ecuador.
Aguardiente: This is a generic term for alcoholic beverages that contain between 29% and 60%. A popular aguardiente in Ecuador is made from sugar cane.
Canelazo: A warm/hot beverage often made with fruit juice such as naranjilla, mora (blackberry) or passion fruit juice, cane sugar, and water boiled with cinnamon. Sugarcane alcohol is frequently added.
Chicha: Is a fermented or non-fermented beverage usually derived from maize. Chicha includes corn beer known as chicha de Jora and non-alcoholic beverages such as chicha Morada. Chichas can also be made from manioc root (also called yuca or cassava), grape, apple, or various other fruits.
Morocho: A sweet and hearty drink made of morocho (dried, cracked corn kernels), milk, cinnamon, sugar, and raisins.
Rompope / Ponche de Leche: Hot or cold beverage popular during holidays made of milk, sugar, vanilla, orange peel, egg yolks, condensed milk, cream, and sugar cane alcohol. Can be served with or without alcohol.