Guatita is an Ecuadorian stew made with tripe cooked in a sauce of potatoes and peanuts. Guatita is one of those dishes that causes predictable reactions: 1) if you’ve had it before you will look at it and your mouth will water (assuming you liked it when you had it). 2) if you haven’t ever had it before and don’t like the idea of eating cow’s stomach or tripe or if you had tripe cook in a different way and didn’t like it, then you might say yuck. Finally 3) if you’ve had tripe before and liked it you might be tempted to try this dish.
I’ve had tripe in other dishes and I’ve liked it, but it’s one of those ingredients that I can only eat a small amount of because the flavor is very strong. However, tripe prepared this way in a potato peanut sauce and served with rice and pickled onions is just amazing and I can eat a lot of it. The tripe is cooked and then cut into very small pieces so you aren’t overpowered by the strong distinct taste it has, and the flavor blends in with the taste of the potato peanut sauce. Ecuadorian guatita tripe stew is served with white rice, curtido or a pickled onions, tomato slices, avocado slices and hot sauce.
Guatita is a typical dish from Ecuador and yes, like most of our typical dishes, it is also known as a great hangover cure (I swear we are not a country of alcoholics, we just like swift recuperation for the occasional time we do drink). In each city, there are restaurants that are known for being the best places to eat guatita, and if you go by one of these restaurants on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you will find them completely packed.
My mom, during her vegetarian phase, used to make this dish with seitan or vegetarian wheat meat. It was one of the few ways she could get us to eat it and it was mainly because the potato and peanut sauce were so tasty. So if you’re looking for an alternative to tripe you can replace it with other ingredients, I’ve made it with tuna (one of those days that I was craving it and only had potatoes , peanut butter and a can of tuna fish available) and it was good; but even if you just want to try tripe once out of curiosity or are ready to give tripe a second chance I recommend that you try this dish, be adventurous as Nicolas (my husband) would say.
Step by step preparation photos for Ecuadorian guatita or tripe stew with potatoes and peanuts