Guatemalan Cuisine: Pepian

Guatemalan Pepian

Yesterday I talked about meeting people and having lunch at La Fuente Restaurant, which is a restaurant I visit often because of their economic daily menu. La Fuente Restaurant is next door to Doña Luisa Xicotencatl, one of Antigua’s landmark. La Fuente’s menu is basically a mixture between Tex-Mex and Italian foods, but for their economic daily menu, they serve mostly authentic Guatemalan dishes; including Chow Mein. Some other dishes from the Guatemalan Cuisine series that I have had at La Fuente include: Frijoles Colorados and Hilachas.

Pepian is another traditional or typical meal from Guatemala. It is based on recado, a tomato, chillies and spices sauce, and some vegetables like potatoes and güisquil (chayote is the Mexican name and most people recognize by this name) along either beef or chicken. I imagine the original recipe calls for Turkey, which what most indigenous recipes use for meat. Most recado recipes are served with Guatemalan rice and the ever-present tortillas. Here is the recipe for Guatemalan Pepian (excuse the Mexican spelling for the dish).

If you are interested at looking a small sampler of foods and drinks from Guatemala, please check the Food and Drinks category or the Guatemalan Cuisine series.

© 2007 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Luis

    Chow Mein is not an authientic Guatemalan dish!
    Nice website.

  • Javier

    Sorry Luis, But Guatemalan Chow Mein is very different from the other chow meins. Unless Rudy was being a bit sarcastic with his remark. Boy am I getting hungry now.

  • LD

    Now I’m sure everyone’s waiting for a picture of that most authentic of Chapin dishes.

  • For the thought police comment on “authentic,” see the editorial at (click on “The Buzz”.)

  • mmm… I’d like to try these dish for my lunch today!!

  • Looks delicious. Betay avon (bon appetite in Hebrew).

  • Delish! I imagine I can taste it! Thanks for explaining the food — I don’t recognize the greenish vegetable at the bottom so your description helped. 🙂

  • This looks very good. Now I’m hungry and its too close to bedtime to eat. 🙂

  • elmonica

    I used to do some studying at La Fuente due to the fact it was a pleasant setting with padded chairs with a fountain in the middle. I would have eaten more meals and drank more coffee but the waitresses don’t approach the tables like we are accustomed to in the states.

    Pepian is definely my favoriate Guatemalan dish. I first tried it while on a field trip with my Spanish school to San Antonio de la aguas caliente. We went to a center where women sell there crafts and they did a humorous presentation on traditional weddings.

    I ate güisquil while staying with a host family. I couldn’t stand the stuff though I forced myself to eat it. It reminded me too much of turnips.

  • Luis: Guatemalan Chow Mein is as authentic as shucos, pupusas, mole or even the dish above: Pepian. Remember we take dishes from other cultures and we Guatemalize them.

    Javier: Yes I was being a bit sarcastic and honest too. Chow Mein is a Guatemalan authentic meal nowadays. Thanks for filling in.

    LD: Watch it, I did not say the most authentic… I simply stated the obvious: you can go the most remote aldea and how chow mein. You should know that.

    Christopher: I did not get it. But I am glad you are policing our thoughts. Boy, I tell ya, in my head they really get far out!

    Dsole: I am sure you get this kind or very similar dish in Madrid. Just ask around.

    Mandi: You’ll be surprise how many Israelis live in Antigua. Check the guy on Striking Stripes.

    Faye Pekas: Come you can indulge a little. I won’t tell. 😉

    Elmonica: Tip the waitress often and with large gratifications and they’ll be your shadow. San Antonio Aguas Calientes is very traditional indigenous town. Güisquil is not a favorite of mine either.

  • Monica

    Where is the ingrediants to this meal??? Please someone tell me.

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  • Sandra

    Chow Mein is the American version of Low Mein. However, the Guatemalan version has jullienned spel?? carrots, guisquiles and celery on top of the onions, shrimp, chicken, pork, stake and bean sprouts. Now I’m getting really hungry and homesick!!

  • susanita

    What do you mean that chow mein is not Guatemalan!!!!!
    My Daughter loves to eat it with lots and lots of CATSUP and soy sauce….and it’s not weird it’s traditional. jajajajaja

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  • ana

    I am from Guatemala visiting my daughter in the USA, (she finished her bachelors and doing a 3 year master program) and the first thing she asks me to cook every time time I see her in more than six years is Chow Mein Guatemalteco, it’s very unique, everyone has it’s own recipe with onions, carrots, “guisquil”, etc……don’t forget the sauce with whatever you want to add!!

  • Karmencomer

    este paltillo estan autentico como los demas es muy diferente el sabor muy rico y los vegetales sabrosos yo lo preparo y a toda la gente le encanta chow mein