Ecuadorian food: encocado de pescado

Ecuadorian food: encocado de pescado

Today, we delve into the rich flavors and vibrant traditions surrounding the beloved dish of Encocado. With its roots tracing back 200 years, Encocado showcases the province’s deep connection to coconut and its exquisite culinary heritage.

There is a plethora of traditional dishes to be tasted while you visit Ecuador. In fact, you can easily embark on a gastronomical tour in this fascinating country.

The Ecuadorian fish with coconut sauce is one of the tastiest traditional dishes that you find in the Coastal region of the country, namely in the province of Esmeraldas.  My aim with this article is to entice you to taste encocado. Hence, add this dish to your list of things to experience while you visit Ecuador.

If you do not love fish as much as I do, you can get shrimp, squid, or crab encocado instead, they are equally tasty.


instagramIf you are in South America I would love to see your pictures.

About Esmeraldas

Just a stone’s throw away from Esmeraldas, Ecuador, lie the stunning beaches of Tonsupa and Atacames, beckoning beach lovers and sun-seekers to their golden shores. Whether you prefer the peaceful tranquility of Tonsupa or the vibrant beach vibe of Atacames, both destinations promise sun-kissed days, refreshing dips in the ocean, and unforgettable memories along Ecuador’s picturesque coastline. Both beaches are perfect settings to enjoy this delicious dish.

What are the ingredients in encocado de pescado?

Encocado is a coconut milk-based stew that embraces the coastal flavors of Esmeraldas. This tantalizing dish features the freshest fish or shellfish, gently simmered in a fragrant blend of coconut milk, chillangua (a local herb), and other aromatic spices. The combination of ingredients creates a harmonious fusion of flavors, resulting in a rich and creamy sauce that coats each morsel of seafood.


Coconut: A Culinary Treasure

Coconut is a staple food for the province of Esmeraldas, and its significance in local cuisine cannot be overstated. The luscious fruit finds its way into numerous dishes, adding a distinctive tropical flair to the region’s culinary creations. Encocado stands as a shining example of the coconut’s versatility, with its creamy and aromatic coconut milk forming the foundation of this exquisite stew.

If you want to try making this recipe at home here is the recipe.



Traditions Preserved

Throughout the centuries, the people of Esmeraldas have perfected the art of extracting coconut milk by hand. This time-honored technique ensures that the dish remains true to its roots, preserving the authentic flavors and aromas that have delighted generations. The creamy coconut milk imparts a unique taste, infusing the stew with a subtle sweetness and a velvety texture that is as comforting as it is irresistible.


The Perfect Pairings

To complete the Encocado experience, it is traditionally served with fragrant white rice and patacones, crisp and golden plantain fritters. The combination of tender seafood, creamy coconut stew, fluffy rice, and crunchy patacones creates a symphony of textures and flavors that will transport you straight to the coast of Esmeraldas.

This is one of the few dishes that I have managed to replicate now that I live abroad. But of course, if you are traveling through Ecuador, buy it ready and let your taste buds enjoy the flavors of Esmeraldas province.

As we conclude our culinary exploration of Encocado from Esmeraldas, we invite you to embrace the flavors and immerse yourself in the coastal charm of this beloved dish. From the hand-extracted coconut milk to the tender seafood and the accompanying rice and patacones, Encocado captures the heart and soul of Esmeraldas’ gastronomy. So, dear foodies, venture forth and indulge in this delightful coastal delight, for Encocado is an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your palate and a lasting appreciation for the culinary wonders of Esmeraldas, Ecuador.





Want to learn to make some of these dishes and many more? This book: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, comprises 500 well-written recipes from all Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, providing great information and recipes of the exciting food you can prepare at home while you plan your visit to South America.

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Ecuadorian food: encocado de pescado

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