In case you haven’t read many of my blog recipes yet, you should know that I love Bolivian food!! I’m from Albania but my husband is from Bolivia. We are raising our family in Miami, Florida aka the The Latin Melting Pot in USA. I tried many Bolivian dishes even before visiting Bolivia. However, I didn’t get a chance to taste Bolivian Majadito until we went to Santa Cruz De La Sierra in Bolivia.Jump to Recipe
Some links in my posts may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you purchase items by clicking on these links. I will always disclose when a product in a post has been gifted by a company as well as when a post or product is sponsored.
What Is Bolivian Majadito?
Majadito or Majao (Majau) is a traditional Bolivian dish prepared most commonly with jerk beef (dehydrated meat). It is also referred to as Majadito Camba or Majadito Oriental both referring to the Santa Cruz origin of this dish. This type of jerk beef is otherwise called charque for the locals. Majau means tenderized or smashed which is the method used to tenderize the jerk beef. Once the beef is cooked, then it is placed in a wooden mortar ( tacú ) and tenderized / broken into smaller pieces.
Majadito dates back to the early days of Spanish conquest of Bolivia. I read several articles in Spanish saying that certain elements of how majadito is cooked have similarities to Spanish Paella.
Majadito is the typical dish of Santa Cruz department of Bolivia, but it has become part of Bolivian National Gastronomy because of it’s traditional values.
How Do You Prepare Majadito?
Bolivian Majadito is more traditionally prepared with charque (jerk beef), however it is becoming common to have it with chicken and duck as well. When we actually visited Santa Cruz we ate dinner at a restaurant which offered smaller ceramic bowls with different types of majaditos so people can try how each version tastes.
Usually the beef is placed in water and water changed several times to remove excess salt. Then the beef is boiled until it is soft enough to eat. Afterwards, the beef is placed in a wooden mortar and smashed into small pieces. In the meantime, the vegetables are sauteed and once done you add rice and the meat pieces. Add the broth and seasoning, cook for 25 minutes or so in low heat. While the rice, beef and vegetables are cooking together, I usually fry the plantains and the egg so i can serve everything warm together.
As always, when preparing a Bolivian dish I try to get as close as possible to the traditional way of cooking such meals. However, there are certain ingredients that are not available here in Miami that can be found in Bolivia or other South American countries.
When it comes to Majadito, in Bolivia they use an ingredient called
urucú (achiote). Urucú is a seed used for both culinary and medicinal properties. It is reddish and it gives Majadito its orange/red coloring. I haven’t been able to find this seed in the local markets here in Florida. However, I read that adding a combination of turmeric with paprika can substitute for urucú .
The most typical sides added on top of the rice are fried plantains and egg, however when I first tried it the plate had yucca too. In order to save time, I usually bake the yucca and I will share a recipe for baked yucca soon:)
I tend to serve Majadito with Llajua to add spice to each plate individually.
- 1.5 lbs jerk beef look for it in Latin Supermarkets (it's not the snack beef jerky)
- 8 tbsps olive oil I prefer olive oil but feel free to use the oil of your choice
- 2 tomatoes peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 cups rice
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 plantains
- 1 yucca
- 6 eggs
- salt to taste be careful with salt since both jerk beef and chicken broth might have varying quantities of salt
- 1 red onion
- 4 tbsps parsley
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
- 0.5 tsp paprika i replaced urucu with turmeric and paprika
- Place the jerk beef in water and change the water every so often so you remove the excess salt. It totally depends where you buy the beef and how much salt it has. I repeated the process 3 times, every 15 minutes this last time.
- Boil the beef for 15 minutes.
- Cut the meat in small pieces. If you have a meat mortar, you can smash it to break it apart which is the most traditional way.
- Saute onion, red bell pepper in oil. Add rice and keeps sauteing until rice is translucent.
- Add beef pieces, chicken broth, seasonings and salt. Once it boils, lower the heat, cover and let cook for about 25-30 minutes.
- While rice and beef are cooking, fry the plantains and the egg towards the end so everything can be served together warm at the end.
- The most traditional way to serve yucca is fried, so if you have a deep fryer you can peel the yucca, cut it in strips, boil it for 10 minutes then fry it in the deep fryer. Alternatively, if you don't have the deep fryer you can bake the yucca after boiling it. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil, bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Try to have this step done simultaneously with the rice cooking so yucca will baked right when rice has finished cooking.
- Serve the rice in shallow bowl, add egg, plantain and yucca on top. Enjoy:))
If you would like to save my recipe for Majadito, please save the below image to your Pinterest boards. If you have questions about the recipe, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail (see Contact) or contact me in social media.
Other Bolivian Food Recipes:
If you would like to check some of my other Bolivian recipes, please check the below links: