Guatemalan Cuisine: Tres Carnes Subanik Bowl

Tres Carnes Subanik Bowl by Rudy Girón

Guatemalan gastronomy is so rich with stews. If the stews are watery we call them caldos and if the stews are thick we call them recados. In Guatemala we have plenty of caldos and recados and sometimes is difficult to decide whether a stew is a caldo or a recado. Take Kak’Ik for instance, which is caldo that looks like a recado.

The picture above is from the three-meat Subanik from Cocina del Obispo located at the entrance of San Juan del Obispo. Cocina del Obispo is a great place to try out all the different Guatemala stews and typical dishes. Cocina del Obispo is a traditional house that is converted into a restaurant on the weekends, therefore all the dining tables are spread between garden, patios and dining room.

Anyway, henceforward we declare Guatemala as the Ultimate Stew Country!

How many other Guatemalan stews can you name besides pepian, tapado, subanik, pulique, hilachas, jocón, kak’ik, caldo de gallina, caldo de res, gallo en chicha, tiras de panza, pollo en crema, pollo a la cerveza, carne guisada, revolcado, caldo de mariscos, etc.?

How many of these stews have you tried?

© 2011 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Looks delicious! Apparently, Ticos don’t have a strong cuisine. Missing Chapin food.

    • Erin

      You are right, gastronomically speaking, there is no comparison at all; however, in the almost 7 years that I lived in Costa Rica, I learned about the most creative picadillos and ceviches. Simple yet tasty dishes!

  • Begonia

    Don’t forget estofado! I make estofado de res all the time. The addition of cinnamon to the tomato/onion/beef stew is culinary genius!

  • Eric

    Oh no, I am terrible with names of cuisine. Usually, I sit down at the table and ask the waitress to bring me whatever is the source of the heavenly smell from the kitchen.
    I will take notes, Rudy, but I’m afraid as of right now, the only names I can remember of anything Guatemalan are…Maite, Rosa, Yoli, Beatriz…. ;D

  • rworange

    Then there is the distiction between sopas vs. caldos which I think you covered somewhere over the years.

    That is a very comprehensive list with the only major ommission being sopa de frijoles negros.

    The only ones from your list that I haven’t tried are pulique, revolcado and pollo in cervesa (A new one I haven’t seen before. It sounds good).

    Would you consider moles to be stews or sauces?

    • @rworange, the only mole we have in Guatemala is a chocolate based sauce we serve as dessert, often with fried plantains. Caldos are always stocks, while soups can be creamy or a little thick, like clam chouder, but soups can also be dry like rice, which is called sopa de arroz.

  • Well, don’t forget the Guatemanal “Bistek” 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • theza tabigue

    i really love it……

    i think i was getting insane upon eating it…

    taste good.
    love it…

  • La Cocina del Obispo

    Los recados en Guatemala son especiales y tienen ese sabor que nuestros antepasados nos heredaron, En la Cocina del Obispo disfrutamos cocinando y ponemos lo mejor de cada uno de nosotros en nuestra comida, Nuestros platos especiales con el Pepian, el subanink( tamal que pica), caldo de gallina, chiles rellenos, etc.