The coastal regions of Ecuador, particularly the province of Manab, are known for their love of the hearty and flavorful seafood soup known as encebollado. Traditionally, the soup is prepared by combining tuna albacore, onions, yuca (cassava), tomato, cilantro, and various spices. In this post, we will demonstrate how to make an encebollado at home by providing detailed instructions for each step of the process.
- 2 lbs of fresh albacore tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups of yuca (cassava), cut into small cubes
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons of achiote paste
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of water
- 6 cups of fish or chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons of roasted peanuts, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of green hot sauce (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- In a large pot, heat up the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and minced garlic and sauté until the onions become translucent.
- Add the achiote paste, cumin, salt, and black pepper to the pot and stir well.
- Add the chopped tomato, cilantro, and yuca to the pot and mix everything together. Cook for a few minutes until the yuca starts to soften.
- Pour the fish or chicken broth into the pot and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add the albacore tuna to the pot and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the tuna is cooked through.
- Once the tuna is cooked, add the lime juice, dried oregano, and chopped peanuts to the pot. Mix everything together well and let the soup simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you like your Encebollado spicy, you can add some green hot sauce at this point.
- Ladle the Encebollado into bowls and top each one with some sliced avocado. Serve hot and enjoy!
- Use fresh ingredients: This soup relies on the freshness of the seafood and vegetables to achieve its full flavour potential. Look for fresh albacore tuna, ripe tomatoes, and vibrant cilantro at your local market.
- Prepare the yuca properly: Yuca can be tough and starchy if not prepared correctly. Be sure to peel the tough outer layer off the yuca and cut it into small cubes before adding it to the soup. Boil the yuca separately until it is cooked through and then add it to the soup in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
- Adjust the seasoning: Encebollado is a dish that is meant to be seasoned to your taste. Taste the soup as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed to suit your preferences.
- Use homemade broth: While store-bought broth will work in a pinch, using homemade fish or chicken broth will give your Encebollado a richer, more complex flavour. Save any bones or scraps from fish or chicken and simmer them with vegetables and herbs to make a flavorful broth.
- Let the soup sit: Like many soups, Encebollado tastes even better the next day. Letting the soup sit in the refrigerator overnight will give the flavours time to meld and intensify, making for an even more delicious meal.
Encebollado is a hearty and flavorful soup that can warm you up on a chilly day or satisfy your craving for something hearty and filling when you are in the mood for it. You can prepare this traditional Ecuadorian dish right in your own kitchen by following these straightforward instructions, which will allow you to wow your loved ones and neighbours with your culinary prowess. Buen provecho!