Fanesca is a distinctly Ecuadorian dish that is not eaten in any other country. The concept of beans cooked in herbs and spices can be traced back to the Incan Empire, and is popular during indigenous New Year. Fanesca is traditionally consumed on Good Friday, served with fried plantains, pickled onions, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. Although, salted cod is a typical ingredient, we adapted the stew for fresh cod or chicken.
- 4 oz cod* or chicken breast optional
- 1 cup great northern beans**
- 1 small zucchini about 4 oz
- 4 oz pumpkin/squash
- 2 oz green cabbage
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 cup corn kernels cooked
- 1 cup green peas cooked
- 1 plantain sliced (optional)
- 1 bunch cilantro or parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk any type
- 2 oz heavy cream/cream cheese/feta***
- 1 cup broth vegetable or chicken
- 1 tbsp peanut butter****
- salt & pepper
Fanesca Culinary Spice Kit
- Annatto, garlic, cumin, oregano, basil
Optional for Toppings
- 1 large avocado sliced
- 1 medium onion sliced and pickled in lime juice*****
- 3 hard-boiled eggs sliced
In a small POT, add zucchini, pumpkin, cabbage, broth, and salt to taste.
Cook over medium heat until soft. Let it cool.
Blend it into a smooth puree.
In a medium POT, add butter, chopped onions, and Fanesca spices.
Fry over low-med. heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add puree, milk, peanut butter, corn, peas, beans, and salt & pepper to taste.
Cook over low-medium heat 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
Optional Soup Ingredients
Cut cod or chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Add all or 1/3 of it to the soup. Cook until tender.
Add heavy cream, cream cheese, queso fresco, or feta to taste. Mix well.
In a PAN, heat oil or butter and fry until tender and brown:
(a) any remaining cod or chicken;
(b) plantain slices, sprinkle with salt to taste.
Top fanesca with plantain, avocado, herbs, eggs, pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, and fried cod or chicken.
* This recipe is for fresh cod. For most authenticity, we recommend salted cod. The latter needs to be drained in water overnight to remove the salt.
** Use any type of beans or lentils that you prefer, one type or several types mixed.
*** Authentic is queso fresco.
**** Any other nut butter is fine too.
***** In a small CONTAINER, cover onion slices with lime or lemon juice. Close. Let it rest in the fridge for 24-48 hours.