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Ajiaco Recipe – A Hearty Columbian Dish

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The unique flavor of Ajiaco makes me sip the warm liquid soup first before taking a spoonful of meat, potatoes, and corn. Along with the side dishes, of course. Well, everything in the soup is tasty!

What is Ajiaco?

This ajiaco recipe is a very popular dish in Colombia. Specifically in Bogota, where it is a traditional dish. It is usually made with chicken, with three varieties of potatoes, cut corn cobs, and an herb called Galinsoga parviflora, or guascas in their local language.

This hearty dish is prepared like a stew in other Southern American countries like Cuba. They call it Ajiaco Cubano. It is also popular in Peru.

Ajiaco has different variations depending on the region or country but the main ingredients are almost the same.

 It is also a soup, as most people call it. 

What does ajiaco taste like?

Ajiaco is popularly made with chicken. But it can also be made with beef, pork, or chicken. The ingredients of Ajiaco soup made the difference.

The taste is herby because of guasca. Without guasca, it would taste like chicken soup. Others say the guascas taste like artichoke or peanut in flavor. With the added corn in it, the taste and smell are quite sweet.

In other countries, like Peru, they usually added some mint in their ajiaco, which makes this soup minty.

By the way, guascas may be an important herb in the Southern American kitchen. It can be surprising to other countries, like the US. Because this herb is so common that it is also considered a weed.

How do you eat ajiaco?

Eating Ajiaco is not difficult. If this is going to be your first time eating the soup, you may be confused at first because of the ingredients and how it was served.

It is usually served with rice and avocado on the side. Sometimes, it is also served with capers and sour cream beside slices of avocados.

I have a friend who is from Colombia. She made this delicious ajiaco when she invited me for a dinner. She showed me how to eat it. 

The ajiaco soup is served in a bowl.

You can eat first the corn cob by scraping the corn into the soup. Since the corn is cooked, it will be easy to scrape off the kernels.

If there is rice and slices of avocados on the side, place your rice into the soup and mix it with the spoon.

Get some avocado using your spoon, then dip it into your soup and eat.

You can pick the meat with a fork. But traditionally, and because the meat is shredded, it is usually eaten using the spoon along with the other ingredients when eating the soup. 

Can you freeze Ajiaco?

You can freeze ajiaco for up to one month. Reheating it using a microwave oven or placed in a saucepan.

It can also be refrigerated for up to 5 days in an airtight container and can be reheated afterward. The dish actually is tastier after a few days.

This is great when you have leftovers or prefer to cook more and then refrigerate or freeze to be served on another day.

By the way, make sure that the soup is at room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.

How to Make Ajiaco?

Ajiaco is a  flavorful and hearty dish best served during lunch or dinner. It is also a favorite soup for the cold weather.

It is popular not only because it is delicious and filling but it is also easy to make. I mentioned that the other ingredient to make an authentic ajiaco is the herb called guascas. Unfortunately, this may not always be available.

In this recipe, I substitute it with cilantro. Although the flavor may not be exactly the same as the authentic ones, the taste is equally great.

I made this ajiaco recipe with some twist to make it a reality with the availability of the ingredients.

The ingredients in this recipe are:

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Ear corn cut into quarters
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro

 To make this dish:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then saute the onions until translucent, around 5 minutes.
  2. Then add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Incorporate the chicken breast and sear on all sides.
  3. Pour the stock and cook for around 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate.
  4. Then add the potatoes and the corn and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 more minutes or until the potatoes and corn are done.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, shred the chicken breasts. Then return them to the pot and add a bunch of cilantro. Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve into big bowls.

Here are more soup recipes to enjoy!

Ajiaco Recipe - A Hearty Columbian Dish

Ajiaco Recipe - A Hearty Columbian Dish

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

The unique flavor of Ajiaco makes me sip the warm liquid soup first before taking a spoonful of meat, potatoes, and corn.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Cups chicken broth
  • 2 Large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Ear corn cut into quarters
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sautee the onions until translucent, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Incorporate the chicken breast and sear on all sides.
  3. Pour the stock and cook for around 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate.
  4. Add the potatoes and the corn and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 more minutes or until the potatoes and corn are done.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, shred the chicken breasts. Return them to the pot and add a bunch of cilantro. Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve into big bowls.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 1124mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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