What Do They Eat in Ecuador? A Guide to Ecuadorian Food

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Ecuador is known world wide for its exotic wildlife and amazing beaches but what do they eat in Ecuador? Have you ever heard anything about the Ecuadorian food? Have you visited a city with an Ecuadorian restaurant? I for one have not ever in all of my travels seen a restaurant dedicated to the food in Ecuador.

But after spending over a month traversing the country of Ecuador from top to bottom, we found out just what to eat in Ecuador. From delicious meals to street food and everything in between, here is a list of our favorite food in Ecuador!

Corviche

Corviche. When I first heard about corviche my initial thought was that it would be similar to ceviche. I was wrong. Corviche is the Ecuadorian equivalent to the empanada. Corviche is a deliciously fried snack from plantains stuffed with fish and topped with red onion and a mayo based sauce. A perfect little treat after a surf along Ecuador’s beautiful coast.

Humitas

Another Ecuadorian food with resemblance to another country that we discovered during our last days in Ecuador is the humita. Humitas are similar to cornbread and being from the south, I grew up on cornbread.

Unlike cornbread, however, humitas is cooked in a banana leaf and is slightly sweeter than its US counterpart. Often served with rich secos, it is the perfect side dish for soaking up the delicious stews found throughout the mountainous regions of Ecuador such as those near Cuenca.

Mote Sucio

Mote sucio is the fatter brother of the mote pillo, a traditional plate from the provinces near Cuenca in the southern part of Ecuador. It consists of mote (hominy), pig skin bits, onion and garlic. Although it might not sound great on paper, think of gnocchi Ecuadorianized by crumbled bacon. It results in the perfect way to cure a night of drinking in the city of Cuenca. For the vegetarians, stick to the mote pillo which substitutes egg for the meat, but is equally delicious.

Fresh Seafood

What do they eat in Ecuador? Fish straight off the boat!

The question “What do they eat in Ecuador?” can be answered in one word… Seafood. With the abundance of beaches, you would expect there to be an abundance of fresh seafood and Ecuador does not disappoint.

Puerto Lopez and Mompiche, two coastal beaches, offered up some of the freshest seafood seen in our South American adventure. Each morning, the fishermen bring in boatloads of fresh fish, shrimp, and squid for the local businesses and families. The seafood is extremely affordable with fish for two costing a mere USD $2 and shrimp/squid ranging from USD $2 – $3.5 per kilo. Grab your favorite seafood and head off to some of the best wild camping spots or your hostel kitchen for a delectable meal. Check out our top seafood recipes easy for vanlife!

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