Our 15 favorite Ecuadorian culinary specialties

Le Ceviche, l'une des spécialités gastronomiques équatoriennes

Get your taste buds ready for a culinary voyage to Ecuador! Here are our top 15 Ecuadorian culinary specialties.

For some, the desire to travel lies in the temptation to discover new landscapes, populations with little-known customs, centuries-old architecture and to fill their Instagram account with as many photos around the world as possible.

For others, the motivation comes from learning a new musical culture, hunting down local artists and perfecting their playlists. But it’s the gourmets we’re talking to: traveling is above all an opportunity to awaken your taste buds! Taste new combinations of products, discover the typical dishes of each country…

Today, we’re heading for South America on a journey to discover Ecuador’s culinary specialties. From traditional ceviche to must-try bolones,Ecuador has something for every taste bud…

Buen provecho!

A little appetizer

1. Pan de Yuca

Le Pan de Yucca

Photo credit: Shutterstock – flanovais

We’re starting our top Ecuadorian culinary specialities with Pan de Yuca, a small snack found on many Ecuadorian tables throughout the day. It can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or as a side dish.

Made with yuca starch (the Latin American name for manioc), eggs and baking powder, this seemingly simple recipe will delight the taste buds of even the most demanding gourmets. Some may even find themselves starting their 4th Pan de Yuca without realizing it.

2. The Bolones

spécialités culinaires équatoriennes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – LUISAO

Accompanied by a delicious local coffee and a fried egg, this Ecuadorian culinary specialty is ideal for an authentic, hearty breakfast.

Bolones are made from a paste of green plantains, a type of banana thicker and firmer than those we usually eat, filled with cheese, pork and chorizo. For the hungrier, they can also be served dipped in soup.

3. Salchipapas

Le Salchipapas

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Evgeniy Lee

This Ecuadorian culinary specialty is the star of the country’s street food scene. At markets, festivals, street vendors and fairs, it’s impossible not to find Salchipapas in Ecuador.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler! Just fry a pork sausage and some potatoes, put them in a small cardboard tray, soak them in a delicious sauce, and you’re done! Perfect for satisfying a small hunger during a day of discovery in Ecuador.

4. The Patacones

spécialités culinaires équatoriennes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Larisa Blinova

It’s impossible to talk about Ecuadorian culinary specialties without mentioning Patacones. They form an essential part of Ecuadorian gastronomy and accompany many dishes. In fact, it’s hard to find a traditional Ecuadorian dish without Patacones.

Soup, meat, rice, sauces, fish – these fried green plantains are the perfect accompaniment to any of the country’s dishes!

Main courses

5. Ceviche

Le Ceviche

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Eva Kali

Although this dish is not just an Ecuadorian culinary speciality, as it is common to many Latin American countries, we had to mention Ceviche in our top list. Because even if the basic recipe is the same everywhere, Ecuadorian Ceviche has its own specificities.

First, it’s cooked with shrimp marinated in lemon and lime juice, onion, tomato and salt. It’s then served with fried plantains, garlic and chifles, delicious plantain chips. A real treat for the taste buds!

6. La Fritada

spécialités culinaires équatoriennes

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For all lovers of rich cuisine and good meat, Fritada is the Ecuadorian culinary specialty you need on your plate!

The recipe calls for pork to be marinated in hot spices (nutmeg, cinnamon wood, peppers, saffron and chili berries) and then browned in its own fat. It’s often accompanied by potatoes, corn, plantains, cucumber and tomatoes. A guaranteed taste escape!

7. Le Cuy

Le Cuy

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For those of you with a guinea pig as a pet, perhaps you should move on to the following Ecuadorian culinary specialty? This edible rodent, which is high in protein and low in fat, is very popular in Ecuador, particularly in the cities of Cuenca and Ambato.

It is usually fried and roasted, then served whole with potatoes, ground corn and salad. Its taste is quite similar to that of rabbit or other small game. Even if many pass on it, Cuy is a very tasty dish that opens up new horizons.

8. La Fanesca

spécialités culinaires équatoriennes

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Fanesca is Ecuador’s festive culinary specialty par excellence. It is shared with the whole family during Easter week. Once eaten on Good Friday after the Lenten fast, it is now served throughout the week.

This dish is prepared with 12 grains (representing the 12 apostles): lentils, beans, rice, peas, broad beans, peanuts, soft corn… all mixed with milk, pumpkin, squash, hard-boiled eggs and cod. Beware of small eaters with this very rich and complete dish.

9. La Maito de Pescado

La Maito de Pescado

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This Ecuadorian culinary specialty comes straight from Amazonia. It is considered a luxury dish in the region and is only served during important ancestral celebrations.

Maito de Pescado is made with Tilapia fish, wrapped in 5 cachibou or banana leaves and cooked over an open fire. In terms of seasoning, the original recipe contained no salt or garlic, but today it is prepared according to individual tastes. It is usually accompanied by yuca (magnioc), rice and plantain.

10. L’Encocado

L'Encocado

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Gabriela Zambrano

This Ecuadorian culinary specialty is undoubtedly the tastiest on our list! Originating in the province of Esmeraldas, this dish used to be based on fish before slowly becoming based on fresh shrimp.

As we said, Encocado is a fresh shrimp ragout marinated in lemon and various spices. It’s then cooked in a sauce of coriander, onions, tomatoes, coconut milk and chillies, served with rice. A guaranteed explosion of flavors!

The drinks

11. The Canelazo

spécialités culinaires équatoriennes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – DANIEL CONSTANTE

There’s nothing like a delicious drink to round off this list of Ecuador’s culinary specialities. Canelazo is a drink that warms both body and spirit. Served at Christmas time, it is associated with joy and celebration.

For a successful Canelazo, infuse cinnamon and grated panela, a sugar loaf soaked in sugarcane juice, for 40 minutes. Then add aguardiente, a white spirit, to warm it up. Drink in moderation!

12. La Chicha

La Chicha

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Chicha is probably one of Ecuador’s oldest culinary specialties. Consumed by the Incas during ancestral festivals such asInti Raymi, it is still very popular with Ecuadorians, and every household has its own recipe.

Among the thousands of different recipes, the base of Chicha is made from water, cereals or tubers, spices or aromatic herbs and acidic fruits. This drink has many virtues, and even treats kidney stones.

To end on a sweet note…

13. The Quimbolito

spécialités culinaires équatoriennes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Edgar Daniel Yanchapaxi

Eaten for dessert or breakfast, this Ecuadorian culinary specialty is a real treat straight from the Andes.

Quimbolito is made from corn flour, butter, eggs, cheese and raisins. The whole thing is then wrapped in achira or banana leaves and steamed. The perfect way to end a meal on a high.

14. L’Espumilla

Espumilla

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Straight from Cuenca, this Ecuadorian culinary specialty is sure to delight even the most demanding gourmets! To find this dessert, all you have to do is look around to see the many vendors offering it.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Simply beat egg whites until stiff, then add the fruit of your choice and jam. Pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, banana… there’s something for everyone!

15. La Raspadilla

La Raspadilla

Peruphotart

There’s no better way to end this list of Ecuadorian culinary specialities than with the Raspadilla. Ecuador owes this dessert to Spain, particularly Andalusia. Very popular by the beaches, this sweet has spread throughout Latin America.

Crushed ice, lemon juice, water, sugar and coloring are the ingredients of this ice cream, which will refresh you under the heavy Ecuadorian beach sun.

So, what have you had the chance to taste among all these Ecuadorian culinary specialties?