Embark on a gustatory adventure with Chilean Curanto, a revered dish deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of Chile's indigenous Mapuche people. Originating from the Chiloé Archipelago, this traditional feast is a celebration of community, tradition, and the bounties of land and sea.

In this immersive culinary experience, witness the intricate process of preparing Curanto, where layers of shellfish, meats, potatoes, and vegetables are skillfully arranged in a large pit lined with heated stones. As the ingredients slowly cook beneath a layer of nalca leaves, the flavors meld together, creating a symphony of tastes unique to the region.

Our journey delves into the rich history behind Curanto, highlighting its significance as a communal gathering that strengthens social bonds and honors ancestral customs. Discover the cultural symbolism embedded within each ingredient, reflecting the Mapuche's deep connection to the land and sea.

Join us as we delve into the heart of Chilean cuisine, where the aroma of Curanto wafts through the air, inviting you to partake in a time-honored culinary tradition that embodies the spirit of unity, respect for nature, and the joy of sharing a meal with loved ones.

Here's a recipe for Chilean Curanto:


  • 1 pound of clams
  • 1 pound of mussels
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound of salmon fillet, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound of pork ribs or sausage
  • 1 pound of chicken thighs
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 ears of corn, husked and halved
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups of green beans, trimmed
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Nalca leaves (substitute: banana leaves or aluminum foil)
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil


1- Start by preparing a pit or hole in the ground, about 3 feet deep and wide enough to accommodate all the ingredients. If cooking indoors, a large pot or Dutch oven can be used instead.

2- Place a layer of large, sturdy stones at the bottom of the pit and build a fire on top. Let the fire burn until the stones are hot, usually about 1-2 hours.

3- While the fire is burning, prepare the ingredients. Season the pork ribs, chicken thighs, and salmon chunks with salt, pepper, and minced garlic.

4- Once the stones are hot, carefully remove any remaining embers and ashes from the pit.

5- Layer the nalca leaves (or substitute) on top of the hot stones, creating a large surface area to accommodate all the ingredients.

6- Begin layering the ingredients on the nalca leaves in the following order: potatoes, onions, carrots, green beans, corn, clams, mussels, shrimp, salmon, pork ribs or sausage, and chicken thighs. Sprinkle each layer with chopped cilantro and parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. Season each layer with salt and pepper.

7- Once all the ingredients are layered, cover the pit with more nalca leaves or aluminum foil, ensuring a tight seal to trap the steam inside.

8- If cooking indoors, cover the pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.

9- Let the Curanto cook undisturbed for 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the pit and the amount of food.

10- After the cooking time has elapsed, carefully uncover the pit or pot, being cautious of the hot steam.

11- Serve the Curanto directly from the pit or transfer it to serving platters. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and parsley if desired.

12- Enjoy this delicious and hearty meal with family and friends, savoring the flavors of Chilean tradition and the bounty of land and sea.

Nutritional Values:

Here's an approximate nutritional breakdown for the main ingredients in Chilean Curanto per serving:

Clams (1 pound):

  • Calories: 145
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits: Clams are a good source of lean protein and are rich in essential minerals such as iron, zinc, and selenium. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

Mussels (1 pound):

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits: Mussels are high in protein and low in fat, making them a nutritious seafood option. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, and selenium, which support immune function and energy production.

Shrimp (1 pound):

  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 47g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Shrimp is low in calories and rich in protein, making it a great choice for weight management and muscle repair. It is also a good source of selenium and iodine, which support thyroid function and metabolism.

Salmon fillet (1 pound):

  • Calories: 480
  • Protein: 62g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Salmon is a fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are important for brain health and heart health. It is also high in protein and provides essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium.

Pork ribs (1 pound):

  • Calories: 610
  • Protein: 56g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 43g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Pork ribs are a good source of protein and provide essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. However, they are also high in saturated fat, so they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Chicken thighs (1 pound):

  • Calories: 410
  • Protein: 54g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Fiber: 0g

benefits:Chicken thighs are a good source of lean protein and provide essential nutrients such as vitamin B6, niacin, and selenium. They are also versatile and can be cooked in various ways to create flavorful dishes.

Potatoes (4 large potatoes):

  • Calories: 880
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 200g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 24g

benefits:Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body. They also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins, which support overall health and well-being.

Corn (4 ears):

  • Calories: 360
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 80g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Fiber: 8g

benefits:Corn is a good source of fiber, which supports digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar levels. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, and magnesium.

Onions (2 large onions):

  • Calories: 100
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 4g

benefits:Onions are rich in antioxidants and contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They also provide vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.

Carrots (2 carrots):

  • Calories: 50
  • Protein: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 4g

benefits:Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body and is important for vision health. They also provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants.

Green beans (2 cups):

  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 4g

benefits:Green beans are low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and manganese, which support immune function, bone health, and energy production.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as cooking method and specific ingredients used. Additionally, the nutritional values do not include any additional seasonings, oils, or garnishes used in the recipe.


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