Street Food – Anticuchos

Let us introduce you to a typical street food in Laura’s beloved country, Bolivia. One type of street food that is a staple in the streets of the city of La Paz is “El Anticucho de Corazón”. Although this dish is believed to have originated in Perú, it has crossed borders and is known as a must try when visiting La Paz. Anticuchos are a big part of the food street culture in the city of La Paz. Usually available starting at dusk, anticuchos are typically sold at food stands on the sidewalks. Laura not only remembers the delicious taste and smell from this grilled food, but also the excitement when seeing the flames from the grill rise, as the marinade was generously slathered on the anticuchos to preserve the moisture in the meat. Here is our take of this delicious food, with a slight variation in the use of cow’s heart, but equally as tasty!

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Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. takes place every year from September 15th to October 15th and it celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. At Palamity, we took a step back to think about how the Hispanic and Latin American population in the country have slowly influenced the local food culture.

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The first type of food that comes to mind when thinking about this influence is Mexican Food (or TexMex food), but even though Mexican food is a culinary staple in American society, other Latin American foods have slowly gained popularity in recent years.

Today, a variety of Hispanic and Latin American cuisines are very popular in the U.S. and have had a significant influence on American eating habits.

From the Brazilian Rodizio (all you can eat steakhouse), the Colombian arepas, the Cuban Ropa Vieja dish, to the Bolivian Salteña, these are just a few out of a long and diverse list of foods that you can find in various places in the U.S. Where you find each of these will be influenced by the makeup of the Latin American population in the particular area.

With this in mind, we want to take you to the heart of South America: Bolivia! One type of street food that is a staple in the streets of the city of La Paz is “El Anticucho de Corazón”. Although this dish is believed to have originated in Perú, it has crossed borders and is known as a must try when visiting La Paz. The original recipe calls for thin slices of cow’s heart as the meat of choice, but it can easily be replicated using thin slices of steak. 

The meat is marinated in a mix of vinegar, beer, and spices, inserted on to a skewer, and cooked on the grill for a few minutes. The thin slices of meat allow for a very fast cooking period, and it is important to eat them as soon as they come off the grill.  The vinegar in the marinade gives the meat a slight tang that balances perfectly with the mix of spices. 

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Below is our recipe for you to enjoy, and if you do, please leave us a comment to let us know what you thought of it!

Street Food - Anticuchos

  • Servings: 4
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To make this recipe you’ll need:

  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 lbs beef, thinly sliced (or 1 cow’s heart, thinly sliced*)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Additional: Bamboo or metal skewers, Pastry brush or silicone brush for basting

The night before:
In a bowl, mix the paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic, red wine vinegar, beer, oil, and soy sauce and mix to combine. Add the meat to the marinade and leave it to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day:
Cook the potatoes in a pot of salted, boiling water for 10 or 15 minutes, or until soft enough for you to insert a fork in them. Do not overcook the potatoes, as you will want them to hold their shape. Remove the potatoes from the pot and set aside.

Place the bamboo skewers, if using, in a container with water. This allows them to absorb some moisture, which will prevent them from burning on the grill.

Once the meat has marinated, insert 4 – 5 pieces of meat on the skewers and place a potato on top. Save the marinade sauce to use for basting while cooking.

Preheat your grill to 450℉. Once the grill is hot, place the skewers on the grill. Using your brush, baste the skewers with the remaining marinade sauce. Cook the meat for 3 – 4 minutes, turning them and basting them a couple of times while they cook. (Please note: The oil in the marinade may cause the flames in the grill to increase in intensity. This is okay. The higher flames dissipate as the fire cooks the oil in the marinade. Plus, the fire will add a distinct flavor to the meat. Just make sure to be cautious while this is happening.)

Remove the skewered meat from the grill and serve while hot. We love anticuchos paired with some sweet corn.


*If cooking with cow’s heart, you need to marinate the meat for at least 3 days prior to cooking. The heart is a very tough meat and the long marinade time allows the meat to become tender and absorb the flavors of the spices.

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