Yet Another Bolivian Recipe: Silpancho

Silpancho has become one of my favorite Bolivian meals and is quite common in Cochabamba. It consists of five layers: rice, french fries, meat, a fried egg, and a salad. But don’t let all those layers scare you – Silpancho is an easy meal to make,  especially if you already have boiled potatoes or cooked rice in the fridge.

Some recipes use thin slices of beef, but this one uses hamburger. I learned this recipe from my friend, Nelvia.

Silpancho (serves 6-8)


cooked rice (for 6-8 people)
potatoes, 6-8 small to medium sized
1 pound hamburger
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
pinch of pepper, if desired
bread crumbs
1 medium carrot
2 medium tomatoes
1 red onion


  1. Prepare rice for 6-8 people if you don’t already have cooked rice. (About 1 1/2 cups uncooked)
  2. Peel the carrot and cut it in 3 or 4 pieces; halve the potatoes. Boil potatoes and carrot until tender. Drain and let cool.
  3. The salad can be made at any time in the process: dice the tomatoes, onion, and cooked carrot. Mix together and add salt, red wine vinegar, and oil to taste.
  4. Mix hamburger, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg together. Add enough breadcrumbs so mixture is not runny.
  5. Separate hamburger mixture into 6-8 balls. Lightly coat each ball with breadcrumbs. Using a rolling pin, roll into a flat circle between two pieces of wax paper (or a shopping bag that has a slit in one side). Meat patties should be about 1/4 inch thick. Stack them on a plate with plastic or wax paper between them.
  6. Fry the meat patties in oil in a hot skillet. Peel and cut the potatoes crosswise so they are disks 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and fry in oil. (I often place them around the outside of the pan so they cook while I fry the meat.) Note: Each meat patty will cook quickly because they are so thin.
  7. After the meat and potatoes are cooked, fry an egg for each person.
  8. Assemble the meal: Layer rice, then potatoes, meat, fried egg, and finally, salad, on a plate for each person.



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2 responses to “Yet Another Bolivian Recipe: Silpancho”

  1. Linda says :

    I tried this recipe today, and my whole family loved it! It’s rare for me to find a meal everyone likes, so this was great! So now you have an American family eating a Bolivian dish in Poland! Thanks Lindsay!

  2. Ray and Marlene says :

    Congrats on one full year in Boliva. Also, Happy Birthday to Hans.

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