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Recipe for Chilean Charquicán with Fried Egg
Recipe for chilean charquicán with fried egg

Charquicán is a traditional Chilean dish originating from the Mapuche people, who used to prepare it with dried beef or horse (charqui) before the development of cattle farming in Chile.

How to make charquicán?

There are also versions of Chilean charquicán made with seaweed, such as the one described by the poet Pablo de Rokha, called “luchicán,” a typical dish for Easter in La Serena that replaces beef or charqui with toasted luche seaweed, or “charquiyuyo,” prepared with cochayuyo seaweed.

Nutritional Information

Category: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chilean
Calories: 350
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Chilean Charquicán recipe


  • 150 g ground beef or diced beef
  • 150 g pumpkin, cut into cubes
  • 150 g mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, carrot)
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ onion, chopped into small cubes
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Wash, peel the potatoes, and cut them into medium-sized cubes. Rinse and set aside.
  2. In a large pot with warm water, add the potatoes and pumpkin, add a tablespoon of salt, bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are well cooked. Strain and reserve the cooking water separately.
  3. In a medium pot, reserve the mixed vegetables, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  4. In a medium pan, add a tablespoon of oil, sauté the onion and garlic, stirring for about 3 minutes, add the beef, oregano, chili powder, chopped basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste, add the tomato sauce, mix everything well with a wooden spoon, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the cooking water from the potatoes and pumpkin and mix until you achieve the desired consistency (more liquid or thicker, to taste), incorporate the cooked mixed vegetables, the onion and beef mixture, and gently stir to integrate everything.
  6. Serve the charquicán with a fried egg on a deep plate and top with a freshly prepared fried egg.

Origin of charquicán

Charquicán is a dish that is said to have originated from the belief of the Spaniards who originally arrived in Chile that charqui was a raw meat despite being dehydrated, and they preferred to cook it before consumption.

Did you know?

The origin of its name, charquicán, is thought to come from the fusion of the Quechua “ch’arqui” (dried) and Mapudungun “cancan” (roasted), which translates to “dried meat roasted.”


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