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How to make a Venezuelan sancocho

How to make a Venezuelan sancocho

people icon For 4 euro icon € 4.2 /pers. calories icon 213 kcal/100g


  • 1/2 hen or 1/2 chicken, cut into pieces for cooking
  • 2 ears of corn or corn pineapples
  • 250g. pumpkin
  • 250g. yam
  • 250g. of cassava
  • 250g. from ocumo
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 3 sweet peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 carrots
  • Fresh parsley
  • fresh cilantro
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt (to the taste of each home)

How to make a Venezuelan hen or chicken sancocho .

Sancocho is a Venezuelan soup that includes meat, either beef rib or chopped chicken like in this recipe, accompanied by vegetables and tubers typical of the region such as cassava, yam and ocumo.

Its curious name comes from the verb sancochar , which in Latin America means to boil and which, however, in Spain is translated as “to cook, leaving the food half raw and unseasoned”; nothing to do with the result of this recipe, a very nutritious soup of those that make us regain our strength after a hard day, and that is also full of flavors and vitamins.

Sancocho is also called Sunday soup and is a traditional dish of Venezuelan cuisine that is usually brought to the table at family celebrations such as Christmas lunches and dinners. A fantastic alternative to expand our repertoire of broths and soups that are so important to temper the body during the cold winter, but also throughout the year.

In Spain we also have sancocho , one of the most traditional dishes of the Canary Islands . Which is very similar to the Venezuelan one, although Canarian salted fish such as corvina or cherne , potatoes, sweet potato, red mojo and kneaded gofio are usually used . It is traditionally eaten during Holy Week, due to the Catholic “prohibition” of eating meat on Good Friday. Also a delicious alternative to prepare at home or in the Canary Islands.

Preparation of sancocho

  1. We start by cleaning the hen (or chicken), removing the largest pieces of skin and any fat it may have. We put it in a large pot with plenty of water.
  2. When it starts to boil we add a handful of salt. Cut the chive branches and the pepper in half and add them to the casserole. We peel and crush 2 cloves of garlic and add them as well.
  3. Peel and cut the onion in half, add one of the pieces to the water along with a chili. If the ears have skin, we remove it and cut them very carefully into two or three parts each. We put them in the casserole.
  4. Meanwhile, we peel and chop the yam, ocumo, cassava and pumpkin into pieces the size of a walnut, more or less. We also peel and chop the leek and carrots, these in thin slices so that they are easy to cook.
  5. When the meat is tender, we remove the pepper and chives, add all the vegetables and tubers except the pumpkin, which needs less time, and continue cooking until the cassava and yam are done. Finally we add the pumpkin and adjust the salt.

Preparation of the sofrito for Venezuelan sancocho

  1. While it is finishing cooking, prepare a sauce: in a frying pan, add the rest of the very finely chopped onion along with a couple of peeled and chopped garlic cloves. We also add the two chopped chili peppers.
  2. Pour the sauce into the broth and add a sprig of fresh parsley or cilantro. We leave it for 3 more minutes over low heat.

Enjoy it and do it at home, you’ll tell me the result, I’m sure, it’s delicious.

Don’t stop enjoying the fantastic Mexican cuisine recipes that we have on the blog. You can see all the step-by-step photos of the Venezuelan sancocho recipe in this album.

Tips for a perfect sancocho

  • Although some of the ingredients such as ocumo and yam are not common in supermarkets, they are easy to find in Latin food stores. We can replace the chicken with chopped chicken or as if it were to be stewed; Although the flavor and texture are not exactly the same, the soup is still delicious.
  • To keep the broth clean, it is important to remove the foam that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon from time to time, especially at the beginning of cooking.
  • If we want to give it a different touch we can replace one of the chili peppers with a spicy one, which we will add to the rehashing of the last steps.

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