Eat Ecuador #1 – HORNADO – Roast Pig Ecuadorian Style

Read about this series here: the Eat Ecuador Food Series

I’m starting the series off where any hungry person goes in Ecuador: the market!

Ecuadorian markets are filled with all sorts of ingredients for cooking – stacks of vegetables, fruits, meat, and even even pantry items. In the video, we’ll have a quick look at the variety of fruits and vegetables, and then it’s time to grab a plate of my favorite dish in Ecuador (so far) hornado.

hornado - Ecuadorian roast pork

Hornado is a happy helping of whole roast pig with a pile of sides.

Let’s start with the pig. The word “hornado” actually comes from the verb “to bake” in Spanish (hornear). The pig is first covered in a marinade that consists of garlic, cumin, onions, chicha (a fermented corn), annatto seed, and more. It’s cooked over coals for a long time (usually overnight). The results are a tender and flavourful beast.Plate of hornado - Ecaudor roast pig with sides

The sides you get with hornado will depend on where you are in Ecuador (and what they grow there), but you’ll probably always get chicharrones. These are deep-fried pork skin and fat. Deadly, I know, but so tasty and crunchy. They’re very similar to a pork rind, but they’re made fresh without any ingredients to preserve the snack (and therefore better). It’s like comparing a packaged cookie to a home baked one.

In Quito, hornado is usually served with llapingachos – essentially potatoes mashed with cheese and then crisped up on a grill. They’re to die for.

There will always be some sauce to pour over your pork. Agrio sauce is a a tangy-sweet salsa with pickled onions and some tomatoes in it. Agrio actually means sour in Spanish, but I find the sauce more sweet than sour, which goes great with the savoury pork. You’ll also probably get some aji sauce – basically a hot pepper sauce with a bright creaminess to it. It’s made with tree tomatoes, another unique Ecuadorian fruit.

A plate of hornado, with all the trimmings, is only $4. There is usually a $5 option if you are feeling incredibly hungry.

You can find hornado in pretty much any market in Quito. The Central Market, which is right in the old town, definitely has it. I prefer the hornado in Inaquito Market, which is a bit far from the tourist area, but totally worth the trip.


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The Music in this video is made by Clueless Kit and Eric Reprid. You can find the song “Blitz” and their other great music on their Soundcloud pages: Eric Reprid -and- Clueless Kit