How to Win a Salvadoreño’s Corazón

So, you’re a gringa (or gringo!) and you’ve fallen in love with a cute Salvadoran. Hey, it happens. But now how do you win his or her corazón? … Two words… “plato típico.”

“Plato típico” [typical dish] can refer to any traditional meal, but this is the “Plato típico” for “desayuno” [breakfast.] A typical breakfast in El Salvador usually consists of thick handmade corn tortillas, huevos picados [scrambled eggs], frijoles molidos [pureed beans], platanos fritos [fried plantains], and crema [sour cream.] … this meal is usually served with coffee.

Here are the recipes you need to make a typical Salvadoran breakfast.


Simply purchase a bag of corn flour for tortillas and follow the directions on the bag. The most commonly used brand is MASECA. Salvadoran tortillas are typically formed in the hand and patted back and forth before being placed on a comal [griddle.] Salvadoran tortillas are usually thicker than store-bought tortillas and are not formed using a tortilla press.

Huevos Picados [Scrambled Eggs]

Beat eggs in a bowl with a little salt. Stirring often, in a pan greased with oil or butter, cook until fluffy. (Some people add chopped tomato and onion.)

Crema [Cream]

If you can’t find Salvadoran crema, any full fat sour cream will do. (We like Daisy brand sour cream.)

Frijoles Molidos [Pureed Beans]

If you can’t find Frijoles Rojos Salvadoreños, [Salvadoran Red Beans] – you can use any small red or black beans. You will have to cook the beans the day before if using dry beans. Cook following standard directions, but add to the water 2 green onions and some garlic for flavor. (Do not add salt until after they’re cooked or they’ll be hard.)

The next day, cook beans with a few spoonfuls of lard, oil or butter. Put into a blender with some of the bean water (reserved from boiling the day before.) Blend until smooth. Heat again, adding salt to taste.

If using canned beans, simply drain, cook with a spoonful of minced garlic, and a few spoonfuls of lard, oil or butter. Put into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little oil or melted butter if the mixture is too dry and the blender blades won’t move. Add salt to taste.

Platanos Fritos [Fried Plantains]

Choose plantains that are yellow with black markings – this means they’re ripe. You don’t want them to be really black (too ripe/mushy), but you don’t want them plain yellow or green, (they’ll be hard and not sweet enough).

Remove peel with a knife by splitting it open and peeling off. Cut plantain in half width-wise. Cut each half into three pieces. (Alternately, you can cut the entire thing into circles.) Fry in a little oil until browned on each side.


Arrange on a plate, serve with coffee.

Watch him fall in love.