• Share

Ecuadorian Fish Soup

This popular fish soup known as Sancocho de Pescado is widely enjoyed on the Ecuadorian coast. Fish, a dietary staple, is prepared in various forms: fried, pickled in ceviches, or cooked into soups, like this maternal family recipe.

I grew up eating this soup at least once a week. My mother had a weekly food rotation and this soup was always Friday's dinner since, as Catholics, we couldn't eat meat on Fridays. My grandmother passed this recipe down to my mother, and it has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy Colombian food. Considered a criollo dish, or local comfort food, it evokes a sense of hominess, while also being healthy and delicious.

For the broth, I use both red snapper heads and fillets to infuse the stock with flavor. Then, I simmered the fish with red onion, carrots, celery, and tomato, later adding Badia Sazon Tropical, plantains, cassava, and culantro, a Caribbean herb that's not to be mistaken for cilantro with a stronger, richer flavor.

According to my mother, legend said that Sancocho de Pescado would ward off sickness, and while her words of wisdom were merely used to get me to eat, I actually believe such this could be true. The broth of the soup is full of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and the snapper is a great source of protein and vitamin D. A healthy packed one-pot meal to keep you healthy, try this deliciously fool-proof recipe that's perfect for the winter or a lazy rainy day when all you need is something warm on the stove.

Ecuadorian Fish Soup

  • 1 red snapper fish head
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red snapper fish fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 plantains, sliced
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 6 frozen cassava pieces, thawed and cut into small chunks

Get the full recipe and ingredient list.

Leave a comment