My Global Food Challenge

Ecuador (2)

Carne Colorada – Achiote marinated meat (Ecuador)

“Carne colorada is an annatto or achiote marinated meat dish from Ecuador, this traditional recipe is made with beef or pork cooked in a bright red achiote sauce.”

Yield: For 4-6 people


2 lbs of beef (top sirloin) or pork tenderloin, cut into medium sized cubes or strips

For the achiote marinade:

6 garlic cloves
1 red onion, chopped in large chunks
2-3 tbs ground achiote or annatto
1 tbs ground cumin
½ tbs oregano
2 tsp salt
2 tbs lemon juice
½ cup of beer (can also use chicha or water)
3 tablespoons of oil, butter or lard
1 tablespoon of achiote seeds
Salt to taste


Blend the garlic cloves, red onion, achiote powder, ground cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons of salt, lemon juice, and beer until you have a smooth puree.

Place the meat pieces in a bowl and combine with the marinade. Cover and let rest in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is ideal).

Heat the oil (or butter/lard) in a large sauté pan over low to medium heat; add the achiote seeds and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the color from the seeds has transferred to the oil. Use a slotted spoon to remove the seeds from the oil and discard the seeds.

Heat the achiote oil over medium high heat, add the beef and cook until the sauce is reduced completely, about 20-30 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the meat/sauce from burning.

Taste and adjust salt if needed. Serve with your choice of side dishes.

Notes: You can also make a variation of this dish using chicken.

Link to My Post on Ecuador:

Cuisine: Ecuadoran

Main Ingredient: Beef/Chicken

Llapingachos – Ecuadorian Potato Pancakes (Ecuador)

“Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are a traditional Ecuadorian dish. They are potato pancakes made from mashed potatoes seasoned with onions and stuffed with cheese. Llapingachos are typically with a creamy peanut sauce called salsa de maní, and they are often served alongside a fried egg, chorizo sausage, avocado, a simple salad, for a complete meal.”


1 onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil, divided
1 package Sazon Goya with achiote (or substitute 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon achiote powder)
1 small onion
1 cup shredded white cheese (queso fresco, mozzarella, Monterey jack)
1/4-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Peel the potatoes in a steamer basket over a large pot filled 2/3 of the way to the top with water. Heat the water over medium heat until it is boiling, cover the potatoes with a lid, and steam the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a fork. (Check occasionally and refill water level in pot as needed). Remove from heat, cut each potato in half, and let them cool until they can be handled.

Place the oil in a medium skillet. Peel and finely chop the onion add it to the skillet. Cook onion over medium heat until onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the Goya seasoning and cook, stirring for several minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.

Peel the potatoes. Press them through a ricer or mash them until smooth. Add the seasoned onion to the potatoes and mix well. Add the cheese and mix well. Season potato mixture with salt and pepper to taste. The potato mixture should be firm enough to shape pieces of it into balls, like dough. If the potato mixture is too wet and sticky, mix in some flour until it has the right consistency.

Shape the potato mixture into round patties, about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy skillet. Cook the potato pancakes in batches over medium low heat, about 3 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. Keep pancakes warm in a 200- degree oven until ready to serve. Serve with salsa de maní (peanut sauce)

Notes: I use russet potatoes to make these pancakes, and I steam the potatoes with their skins on to retain flavor and to prevent water from soaking the potatoes as they cook. The pancakes are easier to cook if the dough is not overly wet. I always find it necessary to add some flour to the dough to achieve the correct texture, a step is that is not mentioned in traditional Ecuadorian recipes. Maybe it has to do with the potato variety they use to make this dish in Ecuador.

Link to My Post on Ecuador:

Cuisine: Ecuadoran

Main Ingredient: Potato

Ecuador on map of South America

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