7 junio, 2024

14 Typical Dishes of the Pacific Region

The most typical dishes of the Pacific region in Colombia they are based mainly on fish and shellfish. It is a cuisine that arises from the fusion of two traditions: the African and the American.

The African slaves who arrived on the Pacific coast of Colombia beginning in the 16th century brought with them many gastronomic influences. The main economic activities in the area are fishing, livestock and agriculture.

Thus, many of the foods that characterize the gastronomy of the region are made with local raw materials. For this reason, fish and shellfish are of great importance and have a strong presence.

Main typical dishes of the Pacific region

1- The crab soup

The crab is one of the most present species on the coasts and on the tables of the Colombian Pacific. Its availability makes it a suitable element to be part of a wide variety of dishes: from soups to grilled seafood or salads.

In this case, crab soup is one of the most common appetizers or starters in the region’s cuisine.

Its preparation is simple and does not require a large number of ingredients. All you need is a string of crabs and some vegetables such as tomato, garlic, parsley, pepper or onion, as well as oil and salt.

The crabs should cook for at least an hour together with the refry made from the vegetables.

2- The dry-smooth fish cod

This is one of the most characteristic dishes of the region’s cuisine. The dry-smooth cod is famous throughout the country and immediately evokes the Pacific.

It is a dish in which the cod is shredded once cooked, skin and bones removed. Previously, a sauce of onion, tomato, basil, lemon, vinegar, oil and achiote is prepared.

3- The seafood casserole

The seafood casserole is not an original creation of the region, as it is present in many other areas of the world.

However, in the Colombian Pacific it is on the menu of any restaurant. Basically, it is about taking advantage of the quality of the native seafood that enhances the flavor of the whole.

Squid, shrimp, clams and loins of any fish are usually used. Shellfish must cook well and it is very important to conserve the water in which they are cooked.

Later, it will be added to the sauce made with oil, onion, garlic, paprika, celery and salt. White wine, milk cream and seafood soup are also used.

4- The aborrajados of fish

They are a Colombian version of battered fish. In this case, the particularity is given by the type of fish used: the mojarra.

This fish is typical of the Caribbean and South America, and is fished in the waters of the Colombian Pacific. The fillets are coated in wheat flour and beaten egg, salted to taste and fried in oil until the desired frying point is achieved.

5- Breadfruit Arepas

The breadfruit tree is a species that can be found in many countries bordering the Pacific: Hawaii (USA), Polynesia, some South American countries, etc.

For the elaboration of the arepas, the fruit of the tree without seeds is used. Once cooked, they are shelled and ground together with the rest of the ingredients: grated cheese, beaten eggs and salt to taste.

Once compacted, they are wrapped in oiled banana skin and grilled.

6- Crab empanadas

Crab empanadas are a typical dish from the department of Chocó. These are sour corn dough empanadas, made on greased banana leaves and filled with shredded crab meat.

The crab or blue crab is a species of crustacean found at the mouth of rivers. It is characterized by having a flattened carapace and blue legs and pincers.

The filling of the crab empanadas is usually accompanied by seasonings, refried potatoes and potatoes.

7- Pusandao

This dish belongs to the municipality of Tumaco, in the department of Nariño. It was born from the fluvial trips that merchants made for days to be able to take their merchandise to the most populated centers of the Pacific region, a little less than a century ago.

Travelers turned to the locals to buy mountain meat or catfish, which they cooked during the trip with egg, plantain and unpeeled potatoes in a large pot. In this way the pusandao was born.

The pusandao is currently cooked with coconut milk, green plantains, cassava, potatoes, serrano meat or catfish and the typical refried food.

8- Sancocho of mountain meat

Also known as “quebrao”, it is a soup made up of mountain meat. The broth contains green plantains, cassava, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and pennyroyal.

He is originally from Tumaco, in the department of Nariño, and also from the department of Cauca. Desalt the meat by boiling it together with the banana peels. Then it is boiled together with the other ingredients and accompanied by slices of avocado.

9- Fish tapao

This is the flagship dish of the Colombian Pacific region and comes from Guapi, in the department of Cauca.

It is a fish broth that contains potato, green plantain, cassava, tomato, onion, paprika, cumin, achiote and garlic. The fish must be in wheels and with white meat.

It is cooked in a casserole covered with banana leaves and served with coconut rice.

10- The bocachico in coconut juice

Very characteristic dish of the department of Chocó. For its preparation you need coconut milk, vegetables such as potatoes or cassava, lemon juice, onion, ripe tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin and beans.

To prepare it, fry the onion, tomatoes, beans and vegetables with salt and spices. At the same time, the bocachico is fried on a griddle, which will be added to the sauce together with the lemon juice and coconut milk and will be heated until everything is well mixed.

11- The baked pork

Pork hornado is a recipe from Ecuador that has been very well accepted in the towns of the Pacific region. It can be made with the head or the leg of the boy, which is marinated with garlic and cumin and bathed in beer. Afterwards, everything is baked for hours before being served.

12- Baked rainbow trout

It is a recipe that is usually made with trout, but typical Colombian Pacific fish such as salmon, sea bass or dorado would also serve.

It is made by seasoning the piece of fish with butter, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper. Then everything is heated in the oven for 30 minutes at 180º. Some recipes also add rosemary, although it is optional.

13- The rice nailed

This rice is presented with sausage, slices of white cheese and seasoned with garlic, tomato, onion, achiote and salt and pepper. It is a very simple dish to prepare, but it is really tasty.

14- The smoked tollo

The log is a young shark. Its meat is prepared on coals made with the shell of the coconut, a mixture that gives it a delicious touch. It is common to present it with some stir-fry to taste.

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