To make Encebollado, a spicy tuna and onion stew, widely regarded as the national dish of Ecuador, start by frying your diced onions, tomatoes, paprika, cumin and cayenne. After those ingredients simmer together, add cilantro and then your tuna

Encebollados: Spicy Tuna & Onion Soup




Yield 4 people


Onion and Tomato Relish Topping (Optional)


Stage 1 - Create Broth Basis

  1. Take a large stockpot over medium-high heat and add your olive oil. Once the olive oil is nice and heated, start by adding your chopped onion and stir around for 1 minute
  2. As your onion starts to become fragrant, add your diced tomatoes and residual liquid. Stir around for another 1 minute
  3. Next, add your cayenne, paprika, cumin, cilantro and your cups of water. Stir everything together and let simmer for at least 3 minutes to create the basis of your broth

Stage 2 - Poach Tuna

  1. With your broth formed, add your tuna and submerge into the broth. Cover your stockpot and let the tuna poach in the broth for at least 10 minutes
  2. After 10 minutes, take your tuna out of the stockpot and set aside on a plate for the time being

Stage 3 - Cook Remaining Encebollados Ingredients

  1. After your tuna has poached, you now have an even more flavorful broth in which to cook the remaining ingredients of your encebollados. Start by bringing this broth to a boil over high heat
  2. With your broth boiling, add your potato and corn pieces. Reduce the heat to medium, cover your stockpot and let all of this cook together for at least 12 until the potato becomes softened
  3. If making the topping, this would be a good time to start it. Combine your red onions and tomato into a small mixing bowl
  4. Drizzle your olive oil and lemon juice and stir
  5. Finally, add your cilantro and sea salt into the small bowl, and stir around. Let this topping sit to “cook” in the lemon juice until it’s time to serve

Stage 4 - Final Touches

  1. As your potato and corn start to become fully cooked, take your plate of tuna and shred the meat into smaller pieces
  2. Uncover your stockpot and reduce the heat to just above a simmer. Add your pieces of tuna back into the stockpot and stir well for 1 minute
  3. After 1 minute, take your entire stockpot off the heat, and you’re ready to serve. Make a bowl and top with a little bit of the tomato topping, and enjoy!

Courses Lunch

Cuisine Ecuadorian

Recipe by Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook at