Hello friends of Paulina Cocina! The soup is delicious but if it is also as substantial as this one, it has no comparison. Ecuadorian encebollado is so special because it has evolved over generations, and its recipe and preparation have been passed down by word of mouth and from family to family.

It is so popular in its country of origin because it combines flavors of the sea with fresh and regional ingredients. It is a dish very loved by Ecuadorians and a symbol of the country’s coastal gastronomy. Let’s honor that tradition by giving you an incredible recipe.

About the Ecuadorian onion

Ecuadorian encebollado is a different soup

Ecuadorian encebollado is a hearty soup characterized by its fresh and flavorful ingredients. Its main ingredient is fish, which is generally tuna or grouper. This fish is cooked in a broth flavored with a generous amount of red onion, which gives it its name and a sweet, caramelized flavor.

In addition to onion and fish, encebollado usually includes tomatoes, green peppers, and spices such as cumin and coriander, which add depth of flavor. The spicy touch is achieved with the use of ají, a variety of chili.

Fish encebollado is traditionally served with accompaniments such as green or ripe plantains, avocado, fresh cilantro, and chifles (fried plantains), which add additional textures and nuances to the dish.

Coastal origin of Ecuadorian encebollado

The Ecuadorian encebollado recipe has its roots in the coastal region of Ecuador, especially in areas near the Pacific Ocean. It is considered an emblematic dish of Ecuadorian coastal gastronomy and has become a fundamental part of the culinary identity of this region.

The Ecuadorian coast is rich in marine resources, and encebollado was developed as a delicious and comforting way to take advantage of fresh seafood.

It is believed that encebollado has been around for generations and has evolved with indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian and Spanish influences, resulting in a dish full of flavor and tradition.

The Ecuadorian encebollado: from coastal to emblem of its country

Fish encebollado has transcended its origins and has become an integral part of the culinary culture throughout Ecuador. Although it is especially popular on the coast, it is found throughout the country and is enjoyed by people from all regions.

This dish is prized for its ability to combine the flavors of the sea with the fresh, local ingredients of the coastal region, creating a unique and delicious dining experience.

Additionally, encebollado is a versatile dish that can be customized to individual preferences, making it even more beloved by Ecuadorian food lovers.

What is the ideal preparation of Ecuadorian encebollado?

The preparation of Ecuadorian onion It involves cooking the fish in a broth with onion and other key ingredients, such as tomatoes and green peppers. The secret is finding the right balance of flavors, with a spicy and acidic touch that adds depth to the dish.

Encebollado is traditionally served hot, and is accompanied by green or ripe plantains, avocado, fresh cilantro, and chifles (fried plantains), which add complementary textures and flavors.

Preparation may vary depending on the region and personal preferences, but we always seek to achieve that perfect balance of flavors that characterizes this dish.

Choosing the perfect fish for Ecuadorian encebollado

Ecuadorian fish encebollado is a culinary experience that stands out for the freshness of its ingredients. The fish used is carefully chosen to guarantee its quality and flavor. This choice of fish is essential to achieve an authentic and delicious encebollado, since the flavor of the sea is the heart of this dish.

The fish used in the preparation must be of high quality. Although tuna and grouper are the most popular choices due to their flavor and texture, other varieties may be used depending on local availability. Ecuadorians value the freshness of ingredients to ensure a delicious and authentic dish that celebrates the richness of the sea.

4 things you didn’t know about Ecuadorian encebollado

  • Traditional breakfast: In some parts of Ecuador, encebollado is a popular breakfast option. Although it may seem unusual, many people enjoy its flavor and substance as a way to start the day with energy.
  • Onion Fair: In the city of Manta, in the province of Manabí, the “Encebollado Fair” is celebrated annually. During this event, local restaurants and vendors compete to prepare the best encebollado. It’s an opportunity for food lovers to enjoy a wide variety of versions of the dish and celebrate this important part of local culinary culture.
  • Red onion of Tropaeolum: In some areas of Ecuador, a variety of red onion called “Tropaeolum red onion” is used for encebollado. This onion is especially prized for its unique flavor and its ability to caramelize and enhance the flavor of the dish.
  • The onion and its importance: It is one of the most in-demand vegetables in the world, one of the foods used for flu and colds and is used as the second main ingredient in other recipes such as Liver onions.

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Ecuadorian onion recipe

Yield: 4 portions

Preparation time: 45 minutes


  • 500 g of fresh fish
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons annatto powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chili or chopped chili to taste

How to make Ecuadorian encebollado

  1. In a large pot, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced ​​onions and chopped green peppers, and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they soften. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, cumin powder, achiote, salt, pepper and chopped chili.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes so the flavors blend.
  4. Cut the fish into pieces and add to the pot to simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked and flakes easily.
  5. Serve hot in individual bowls and optionally decorate with fresh chopped cilantro and accompany with slices of cooked or ripe green banana, chifles, avocado and lemons to squeeze over the soup before eating.
how to make ecuadorian encebollado

Source: www.paulinacocina.net

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