International Cooking: Food from Honduras

Honduras is located in Central America and was once home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, with the Maya being the most notable.

In the 16th century, Spain colonized the country, and Honduras was administered as part of the Kingdom of Guatemala. Honduras is rich in many resources, and it is thought that their silver supply is what the Spanish were primarily after.

In 1821, Honduras gained independence, initially as part of the First Mexican Empire. The country has since struggled with political instability, particularly after a coup in 2009 and the presidential election in 2017, which caused widespread protests due to possible irregularities.

What Do People Eat in Honduras?

Honduran cuisine displays Spanish, Caribbean, and African influences, with some native dishes still enjoyed today.

Beans are a popular protein, but chicken, beef, fish, and seafood are also common.

Dishes are often served with rice or corn tortillas. Other popular ingredients include plantains, yuca/cassava, cabbage, and tropical fruits such as coconut.

Breakfast is usually an important meal in Honduras. Often, this would be a plate of eggs, refried beans, crema, queso fresco, avocado, plantains, and tortillas; this is similar to other Latin American countries I have already covered during this challenge (see Guatemala and El Salvador). This would typically be accompanied by Honduran coffee, which is renowned for its delicate qualities.

What I Made

Scroll down to read about other popular Honduran dishes I didn’t make!

Baleadas (Stuffed Tortillas)

Baleadas (Stuffed Tortillas)

Baleadas are stuffed flour tortillas, usually enjoyed for breakfast or brunch. The typical filling consists of refried beans, queso fresco, and crema, but a variety of other ingredients can be added such as eggs, meat, or avocado. I chose to fill mine with homemade refried beans, queso fresco, and scrambled eggs.

First I made the tortillas out of flour, salt, baking powder, oil, and warm water. I have made flour tortillas before and don’t typically include baking powder, but these tortillas are meant to be on the thicker side so I figured the baking powder helps with that.

Red beans seem to be the popular choice for refried beans in Honduras; I used pinto beans since that was what I had. I’ve made refried beans a few different ways since starting this challenge. This time, I cooked the beans in lightly salted water with a bay leaf, then blended them with some of the cooking water. I sautéed some minced garlic and red onion in oil, then added the beans and cooked until they were the consistency I wanted. These were good, but I think my favorite refried beans recipe so far is from International Cuisine; that is the recipe I used for El Salvador week.

These were delicious and easy to make! I’ve really taken a liking to homemade refried beans during this challenge and I love how good and filling they are when served with eggs and cheese.

The recipe I followed is from Hispanic Kitchen.

Pollo Chuco (Fried Chicken and Plantains)

Pollo Chuco (Fried Chicken and Plantains)

Also known as ‘pollo con tajadas’, pollo chuco is a popular street food consisting of fried chicken served on top of fried plantains with various toppings and sauces.

There were quite a few components to prepare for this dish, but most of them were very simple. The chicken took the most effort; I had to season it with mustard, cumin, salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika, and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. Then I coated it in flour and deep-fried until done. Bone-in chicken pieces are used for this dish; I used bone-in chicken thighs.

While the chicken was in the fridge, I prepared the other ingredients. I need to pickle some red onion, so I did that first. I combined the sliced onion with vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano, and put that in the fridge.

Next I made chismol, which is the Honduran version of pico de gallo. It consists of tomato, green bell pepper, onion, cilantro, cumin, and lime or lemon juice. I used a jalapeño instead of the bell pepper since I had one I needed to use up.

I made a sauce from canned tomato sauce, chicken broth, and some of the chismol. Then I made a pink sauce from mayonnaise and ketchup, with a little sugar, vinegar, and hot sauce.

Once the chicken was done and resting, I quickly fried green plantain slices in the same oil, and then I was ready to assemble.

First I put the plantains on the plate, then some shredded cabbage. I topped this with the fried chicken, tomato sauce, chismol, pink sauce, and pickled red onion.

This was a great dish! I loved how all the different flavors combined. I used the recipe from The Foreign Fork.

Plato Typico (Meat, Refried Beans, and Salad Plate)

Plato Typico (Meat, Refried Beans, and Salad)

Like a few other Latin American countries I have covered so far in this challenge (see the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica), Honduras has a popular dish which is more like a plate containing portions of other dishes. Common components include carne asada (grilled meat), beans (which can be refried or whole), plantains, sausage, corn tortillas, chismol (a fresh salsa), queso fresco, crema, and avocado.

For my plato typico, I cooked some steak strips and served them with leftover refried beans from the baleadas, fried plantains, sausage, shredded cabbage with chismol on top, and corn tortillas. This made for a great and filling lunch!

Sopa de Frijoles (Bean Soup with Poached Egg)

Sopa de Frijoles (Bean Soup with Poached Egg)

This is a simple soup popular in Honduras; I wanted to try it because it is typically served with a poached or boiled egg and I love dishes with eggs added to them! The exact ingredients vary widely and can include meat, but I chose a nearly meatless version (it contains chicken stock but this could easily be replaced with vegetable stock for a vegetarian meal).

I started by cooking some pinto beans; I think red beans are more commonly used in Honduras but the recipe called for pinto beans and I had those on hand.

I sautéed some onion and green bell pepper, then added some garlic (not included in the recipe but common in others I looked at). I added the beans, some of their cooking water, chicken stock, a whole jalapeño, and a little hot sauce.

Once the soup was simmering I poached some eggs in it. Then I served the soup in bowls over rice, with corn tortillas on the side. I don’t think the tortillas were necessary to be honest; the soup was excellent with just the rice. Although this was a super simple dish, it tasted really good and I would definitely make it again.

The recipe I used is from Food.

Matador (Pineapple and Tequila Cocktail)

Pineapple Matador (Pineapple and Tequila Cocktail)

The matador originated in Mexico, but it’s popular in Honduras too and it was suggested I make it. Besides, it’s been hot here and I thought this would be a nice refreshing cocktail. The most basic version is made with pineapple juice, tequila, and lime juice. Some versions add a few drops of bitters, which I added to mine.

I did not use a recipe for this; I just looked at a few recipes for an idea of the intended ratios. It was pretty good; if you like pineapple juice you’ll like this.

Rompopo (Honduran Eggnog)

Rompopo (Honduran Eggnog)

Rompopo is another drink that is believed to be invented in Mexico, but is also very popular in Honduras today. It’s an eggnog variation, flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves.

I started by bringing a mixture of regular milk and evaporated milk to a boil with some cloves and a cinnamon stick. Then I stirred in a mixture of cornstarch and milk and reduced the heat. When the mixture thickened a bit, I added some vanilla extract.

I let the milk cool a bit and beat some egg yolks and sugar. The recipe said I could add peanut butter at this point if I wanted; I did not do that this time but I think it would be interesting to try.

I strained the cooled milk, then returned it to the saucepan and slowly whisked in the egg yolk mixture over medium-low heat, before letting it cool completely.

I added the rum (which was listed as optional in the recipe) and refrigerated. I served my rompopo cold, with nutmeg grated over the top. As far as eggnog recipes go, this one tasted pretty good but was more work than others I have made and it wasn’t better.

The recipe I used is from Hispanic Kitchen.

  • Macheteadas – the Honduran version of fried dough, usually made using leftover flour tortilla dough from making baleadas. They are typically served with syrup for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Honduran enchiladas – these are made in the same style as Guatemalan and Salvadoran enchiladas; they are fried corn tortillas with toppings. In Honduras, the toppings usually consist of seasoned ground beef, chismol, cabbage, tomato sauce, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese.
  • Sopa de caracol – a traditional soup made from conch (a type of sea snail) cooked in coconut milk, often with cassava and plantains.

Final Thoughts

This was a great week! Everything was delicious but I enjoyed the baleadas and sopa de frijoles the most.

Next week, I will be cooking food from Hungary.

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