Fish Soup Supreme: Encebollado de Pescado

10 months ago

encebollado de pescado

Savor tuna on a whole different level with Ecuador’s national dish. Roughly translated to “fish soup with onions,” it is both bold and lively, with its ingredients thrown in to create a recommended hangover cure. Don’t be intimidated by its long name; Encebollado de Pescado is quite easy to prepare.  


Encebollado de Pescado

Makes 4-6 servings



¼ kilo Cassava or gabi

2 Tbsps Vegetable oil

1 Red onion, diced

2 Tomatoes, diced

1 tsp Chili powder

2 tsps Ground cumin

4 cups Water

½ kilo Tuna steak or fillet (whole)

1 bunch Cilantro (wansoy), roughly chopped

  • Salt and/or fish sauce (patis), to season


  1. Boil cassava or gabi with skin in water until half-cooked. Peel off skin then slice in half lengthwise. Remove the thick rib in the middle and proceed to cut into chunks. Set aside.
  2. In a pot, make the sofrito by sautéing the diced onion and tomatoes in vegetable oil. Add the chili powder and ground cumin then stir until fragrant.
  3. Add water and tuna and bring to a boil. Remove the cooked tuna and cut into smaller chunks using two forks. Set aside.
  4. Add the parboiled cassava to the broth and simmer until cooked through. Season with salt and/or patis.
  5. Put the tuna pieces back in the pot and stir. Toss in chopped cilantro. Serve piping hot and top with pickled onions and tomatoes. Traditionally, this is served with corn chips or plantain chips on the side.



1 Red onion, thinly sliced

½ Tbsp Salt

1 cup Hot water

2 Tomatoes, deseeded and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Chopped cilantro (wansoy)

  • Juice from 1 lemon or lime

1 Tbsp Salad oil (sunflower or light olive oil)


  1. Put the red onion slices in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for ten minutes.
  2. Add hot water to the salted red onion and set aside for another 5-10 minutes then drain.
  3. Put the sliced tomatoes in a bowl. Add blanched red onion slices, wansoy, lemon or lime juice, and salad oil. Add a pinch of salt as needed. Toss and serve as topping for the soup.



1-2 cups Cooking oil

3-4 Saba* bananas, thinly sliced


Pour cooking oil in a wok or pot and place over medium heat. When oil is hot enough, fry the bananas chips until golden. Scoop out fried chips using a slotted spoon or spider and drain in a paper-lined colander or cooling rack.


*NOTE: For the best results, use saba bananas that are still firm and barely ripe.


Recipe by Marie Villanueva-Pascual

Photographed by Marie Villanueva-Pascual


Whether canned or not, tuna is versatile enough to be part of other dishes

Lola’s Fish Eggs

Perk Up Stuffed Mussels with Spicy Cheese Cream Sauce

Open-Faced Tuna Pesto Melt Sandwich

Spicy Tuna Pasta

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