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Costa Rican Food I ate

By Maangchi

Some photos of good food that I had are blurry, so I can’t post them here, but these are I ate while I traveled in Costa Rica:

Ice cream made with cactus flower. The beautiful purple color got my attention. I had this ice cream twice!

Tamale wrapped in banana leaves

casado: typical Costa Rican meal consisting of rice, black beans, meat, salad, and fried plantains

Costa Rican sweet coconut cookies

steamed plantains cooked with sugar and cinnamon

deliciious doughnuts with cream inside


I had to buy a plastic container in Costa Rica to make lunchbox (dosirak). Jumeokbap (similar to my samgak gimbaprecipe) made with kimgaru (roasted and crushed seaweed), roasted sesame seeds, shrimp, steamed rice, salt, sugar, vinegar, and salsa sauce. It was a fantastic taste! : )

Mango crepe plus ice coffee for brunch satisfied my empty stomach!  : )

casado with beef and steamed yuka

Whose beer? Their beer! Costa Rican beer! Imperial

a can of pulpo (octopus)! very delicious! I often had this for my snack!

plantain chips. They are not sweet and the taste is kinda bland

colorful  vegetable salads made with fresh and steamed vegetables. I like the warm steamed broccoli.

Vegetables and stir-fried rice! A huge fried crab is buried in the pile of stir-fried rice! : )

I had this seafood with salsa at a restaurant recommended by my travel book “Lonely Planet”. The restaurant is inside of a market in San Jose. They use very fresh seafood, as the travel book said.

Toasted bread, rice with black beans, scrambled eggs, sour cream, fried plantain, and a few strips of fried bacon! Do you think they go together? Yes, it was good to me! : ) I ordered this meal “to go” to eat on the shuttle bus to go to La Fortuna from San Jose.

Costa Rican sweet potatoes and corn! I steamed them with my steamer and made lunchbox when I moved from Fortuna to Quepos.

Pastry. The large circle shape cookie (Orelas) was sweet and cruchy!

Satisfied-looking coffee man! Why? I bought 3 kilos of coffee from him. Each bag of coffee was 500 grams and it $4.oo! Delicious, cheap, and good quality coffee!

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19 Comments:

  1. mytanfeet playas del coco, costa rica My profile page joined 6/13
    Posted June 7th, 2013 at 10:34 pm | # |

    Costa Rican food is soo good! It’s kind of heavy (lots of carbs) but they use fresh ingredients. I love the tres leches cake and if you ever get a chance, try the chocolate cake from a company called Spoon. It’s a CostaRican dessert company and it is heavenly! Pops ice cream is another favorite – it’s so creamy. Olla de carne is one of my favorite dishes though and even though I’m living in Playas del Coco right now and its over 90 here, I can eat that soup anyday! And while San Jose has a lot of international restaurants, there is barely any here in Coco :( As much as I love CostaRican food, Korean food is my absolute favorite and everytime I go back to the states, I fill up on my kimchi and soon doo boo. And bbq..and bibimbop. and everything else :)
    Such a cute blog! Definitely going to keep reading !

  2. alicja My profile page joined 8/10
    Posted August 10th, 2010 at 12:48 am | # |

    Wow! I’m living in Costa Rica now. I like the food, but I really miss kimchi :) Luckily, there’s plenty of 고구마 here. I was surprised because I expected to find the North American kind of sweet potato. I don’t know the Spanish word for it, so I always say ‘goguma’ even when I speak Spanish. My Tica roommate is so confused when I tell her I’m making ‘goguma’

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 10th, 2010 at 9:54 am | # |

      yummy sweet potato (goguma:고구마)!

    • Xummoner My profile page joined 9/10
      Posted September 10th, 2010 at 5:11 am | # |

      We call that kind of sweet potato, Camote; the one with the purple skin. I actually haven’t seen the North American variety (the orange one) here.
      Fun fact about “camote”, it’s what people call a crazy person (crazy as in clinically crazy, lol) because our “forefathers” use to think camote was a cure or an aid for crazy people. So if someone tells you: “está camote?” (are you camote?) they’re literally saying: “Are you crazy?”

  3. lintpelusa barcelona My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted August 2nd, 2010 at 11:09 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    You have to try bibimbap with fried plantains. An excellent mix from Korea and Latin America!

  4. Thuong Thuong VietNam My profile page joined 4/09
    Posted May 29th, 2010 at 5:17 am | # |

    The Tamale cake is look like a food in Hue City ( Viet Nam ), named is Bánh Gói Huế .I like your website so much . I’ll try to do vegetables pancake in this afternoon. Love you.

  5. kennethmoore Washington, DC My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/10
    Posted May 17th, 2010 at 2:23 pm | # |

    My mouth is drooling…!

    I would need to bike a few thousand miles to be able to eat all that food! Maybe, bike to Costa Rica…

    I’m gonna go. I’ll send you pictures! ;)

  6. flower Venezuela My profile page I'm a fan! joined 3/09
    Posted February 28th, 2010 at 3:35 pm | # |

    mm, everything looks delicious, there are many foods that I know are very similar to those of my country

  7. Tuty My profile page joined 5/09
    Posted February 27th, 2010 at 8:31 pm | # |

    Maangchi,

    I really like looking at “real people”‘s food. They’re hearty and non pretentious.
    The mango crepes looks really good but I also would love to taste all of the rice platters.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 12th, 2010 at 8:20 pm | # |

      “I really like looking at “real people”‘s food. They’re hearty and non pretentious” I totally agree with you!

  8. clarakim My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted February 26th, 2010 at 10:06 pm | # |

    Wow, the casados look delicious! I’m so glad to hear that you had a great time Costa Rica :)

    • Xummoner My profile page joined 9/10
      Posted September 10th, 2010 at 5:28 am | # |

      Casados get that name because that’s what married workers would eat at work(casado means married). Single workers didn’t had someone to cook such “complex” (lol) dishes, so they would probably had “gallo de cafetal” which literally means “coffee plantation’s rooster”. Gallo is actually whatever you can think of, wrapped around a corn tortilla.
      A “gallo de cafetal” was a corn tortilla stuffed with a simple egg omelet and mashed black beans wrapped around banana leaves for easy transportation and/or re-heating, which is what a male worker back in the days would cook for himself.
      Casados, depending on the area, economy, etc would basically be white rice, black or red beans, fried sweet plantain and some sort of protein (beef, fish, pork, eggs, etc) and sometimes some kind of “salad” or vegetable.

  9. Amber727 New Jersey My profile page joined 7/09
    Posted February 26th, 2010 at 1:27 am | # |

    Wow! The ice cream’s color is beautiful! Hope you had a wonderful time traveling! :)

    • Xummoner My profile page joined 9/10
      Posted September 10th, 2010 at 5:17 am | # |

      If I’m not mistaken, that’s POPS’s Pitahaya ice cream, it’s the “flavor of the month” every now and then. It has no dairy products so I don’t know in what category it fall, probably a sorbette instead of an ice cream. As you can see in the picture, those black dots are actually pitahaya seeds so it has a bit of a crunch when you bite into it. I used to have that ice cream with my ex all the time when he was in the country.

      • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
        Posted September 10th, 2010 at 10:34 am | # |

        Yeah, the taste was like sorbet! Interesting! Thank you very much for your explanation! “pitahaya” is dragon fruit, right?http://dragon-fruit.biz/ They said it was made with cactus flowers. The color was so beautiful fuchsia color.

        • Xummoner My profile page joined 9/10
          Posted September 11th, 2010 at 9:10 pm | # |

          Yeah, it’s dragon fruit. It’s actually pretty hard to find in supermarkets. I’ve only seen them a couple of times but didn’t had the change to try them. They come in different colors too, I’ve seen white and yellow ones too.


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