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Typical Colombian dishes by region

Typical Colombian dishes by region

. 6 min read

Colombian cuisine is varied and full of interesting recipes worth trying. There is no national dish as such, as different recipes stand out in each area. Therefore, in this article, we talk about some of the most popular dishes in the country ordered by region.

Next, you have an index with all the points that we are going to treat in this article.


The insular region is formed by the set of islands of Colombia, among which are San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. These are some of the most outstanding dishes of its gastronomy:


Dumplings are an accompaniment to other dishes such as stews and soups typical of San Andres and Providencia. They are easy to prepare, you only need 500 grams of flour, a spoonful of baking powder, two spoonfuls of butter and a glass of water.

All these ingredients are mixed together and small royos are formed with wet hands, although they can also be given other forms such as cakes, which usually accompany the following recipe: el rondón.


Rondón is a fish soup that originated in traditional African cuisine and arrived in the Caribbean with the ancient slaves. It takes fish, snails, seafood or pork. Yucca, yam (a type of plant), dumplings, banana, pork tail, basil, and oregano are also added.

Its name comes from the English expression run down, which means that you are looking for something, in this case, coconut milk, an ingredient that was prepared before and used in the following video:

Crab soup

The ingredients needed to prepare crab soup are as follows:

  • 1 kg crab meat
  • 1 kg pigtail or pigtiel
  • 0,5 kg yam
  • 0,5 kg cassava
  • 0,5 kg potatoes
  • 2 green bananas
  • 1 glass of coconut milk
  • 1 glass of flour
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • basil
  • pepper and salt

First, boil the pork tail for 5 minutes to remove the salt. On the other hand, boil the banana and add the tail for seven minutes. Then add yucca, yam, and potato. Once they have softened, add the crab meat and the other ingredients, season, boil and add coconut milk.


The Andean region is located in central Colombia and consists of fifteen departments, including Risaralda, Quindío, and Boyacá.

Tray paisa

The paisa tray is a dish consisting of numerous ingredients, which are these:

  • Red beans
  • Hogao (salty sauce)
  • Ground meat
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Chorizo
  • Ground beef
  • Avocados
  • Rice
  • Sweet bananas
  • Large onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn flour
  • Salt

The ingredients of the paisa tray

The night before its elaboration, the beans should be left to soak. The next day, cook them and add a little oil and salt. Sauté the ground beef with half of the hogao and fry the rest of the meat.

After this, add the beans and the rest of the hogao and cook for about 5 minutes. Finally, fry the fried plantains and eggs.


The ajiaco is popular especially in Bogotá. Its preparation consists of boiling chicken breast in chicken broth, corn cob, spring onions, cloves of garlic, cilantro, potatoes (white, Creole and red), guasca (an herb), cilantro, salt, and pepper. The result is a succulent soup.

Piglet tolimense

The tolimense suckling pig is cooked mainly in the region of Tolima Grande. It consists in preparing a whole pig of about 50 kg. For it, one cleans, one takes out the meat and one leaves the skin and the head.

The meat is seasoned with chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. On the other hand, a filling of peas, lard, and chopped onion is made and fried with the meat.

The suckling pig is stuffed with this preparation and the filling is alternated with rib bones to maintain the structure. Sour orange juice is added and baked for three hours at 400º and for two hours at 200º. It is accompanied with white corn arepas and insulso (a kind of custard). In this video you can learn the history of the recipe:

Sobrebarriga in sauce

The sobrebarriga is formed by beef and Creole tomato sauce. The meat is cooked with onion, garlic, pepper, and salt for three hours. As for the sauce, fry tomatoes, red paprika, onions, garlic, annatto (a spice), cumin, salt, and pepper.

For the presentation, put the sauce on top of the meat. It is also served with white rice, yucca, and avocado.


The Orinoco region is also known as the Eastern Plains. Some of the best known llaneras recipes are:

Ternera a la llanera (beef on the plains)

The calf to the llanera is also called mamona. The main ingredient is the veal of approximately one year, to which four types of different cuts are made, which have particular names:

  • The bear
  • cut off the jowl, jaw, tongue, and head.
  • The shakers
  • he cuts his chest into elongated strips.
  • The stripe
  • are the hindquarters and are extracted in a round shape.
  • The heron
  • is the udder area.
  • Llanera veal: one of the tastiest dishes in Colombia
  • The cut pieces of meat are covered with strips of veal skin, seasoned with salt and baked for eight to ten hours at 250º. It is also typical to cook them on sticks crossed over a bonfire.

Creole Picadillo

To cook picadillo criollo you need beef cecina (salted and sun-dried), green bananas, yucca, pumpkin, onion, cimarrón cilantro, chopped cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin.

First, soak the meat in salted water for two hours and then wash it a little with a jet of water. After this, cook it for one hour, cut it into cubes and cook it again with the bananas.

Cooking the picadillo criollo from Colombia

Finally, add the cassava, pumpkin, garlic, onion and cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes. When there are 10-15 minutes left, add salt, pepper and cimarrón cilantro.

Fried Mojarra

The mojarra is a sea fish that in the Orinoco it is common to cook fried. To do this, you must have lemon juice, milk, wheat flour, oil, salt, and pepper. The first step is to wash and dry the fish.

It is then soaked in lemon juice, added salt and pepper and left to stand for 15 minutes. It is then battered in milk and flour and fried until golden brown. It can be served with green plantain patacones, white rice, and salad.

The elaboration of the fried mojarra


In the Pacific region, we find part of four departments: Nariño, Chocó, Valle del Cauca and Cauca. It includes the east coast of Colombia.

Piangua Tamale

The basic ingredients for cooking the piangua tamale, a mollusk consumed on the Pacific coast, are:

  • Piangua shelled
  • Green male bananas
  • Coconut milk
  • Cream of coconut milk
  • Hogao
  • Potatoes
  • Banana leaves
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Pita or rope
  • Salt and cumin
  • The special taste of the piangua tamale

First, simmer the bananas in the coconut milk, drain and grind. Heat the coconut milk for 10 minutes and then fry it with a glass of hogao for 15 minutes.

The mass of the bananas is mixed with the pianguas, kneaded and cream of coconut milk and potatoes is added. Put banana leaves in the shape of a cross and place part of the dough, egg pieces and a spoonful of hogao on them. Finally, fold the leaves, hold them with the pita or rope and cook them with salt for one hour.

Fish borage

To cook the aborrajado de pescado you need fillets of mojarra, eggs, wheat flour, oil and salt. Begin by beating the eggs and adding flour and salt until a liquid dough is formed. Then batter the fillets of mojarra and fry them until they are golden brown.