Cachupa guisado is the breakfast version of Cape Verde’s national dish – Cachupa. Also known as Cachupa refogado, this is a signature dish all in itself, made from leftover Cachupa that’s been drained and re-heated in a hot skillet. A fried egg is placed on top to finish off this most beloved Cape Verdean breakfast dish.
What is Cachupa Guisado?
Similar in style to hash, Cachupa guisado is made of leftover Cachupa that’s re-heated in a hot skillet. With its slightly browned edges and delicate char on the kernels and vegetables, some of us Cape Verdeans would argue that this reheated version of our national dish is even better than cachupa in its original form.
When preparing cachupa guisado, the emphasis should really be placed on technique rather than measurements. This ‘recipe’ is really just a guide. The measurements are meant to be followed loosely. We are simply heating up leftovers! The amounts can be eyeballed, depending on the number of people being served and each person’s appetite.
What is Cachupa like in its original form?
Cachupa is the national dish of Cape Verde (shown in the photo below). You can find my recipe here. It’s a stew made from dried hominy, dried beans, greens, root vegetables and seasoned meats that are stewed in a savory broth.
Cachupa is simmered in a very large stockpot for about 6 hours and is intended to feed a minimum of 8-12 people. Just imagine the amount of leftovers that it yields! Cachupa guisado is an authentic and traditional way of repurposing all of those delicious leftovers.
What you need to make Cachupa Guisado:
- Leftover cachupa that’s been drained of its broth. You can easily drain the broth using a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer. Don’t worry if the cachupa is still wet after you’ve drained it. It will dry up during the cooking process.
- A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. I prefer to use a Portuguese variety of olive oil, but olive oil of any origin will do.
- Diced onions – some people like a lot, others like just a few. I usually use one small onion when reheating enough cachupa to fill a 10-inch frying pan, but some people like to use more onions.
- A few large eggs – 1 or 2 per serving.
- 10 inch skillet (or larger) – the size really depends on how much leftover cachupa you intend to reheat. I find that anything smaller than 10 inches gets a little crowded, and I always prefer to use non-stick for this dish because it’s easier to wipe out before frying the eggs.
How to make Cachupa Guisado:
Step 1: Drain and discard the liquid
Start with your desired amount of leftover cachupa. Using a mesh sieve or slotted spoon, drain off any liquid. Discard the liquid and set the cachupa aside. Don’t worry if the cachupa maintains some of its liquid or appears wet even after you drain the liquid off. The remaining liquid/moisture will be absorbed during the cooking process.
Step 2: Fry the onions
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions to the skillet and toss them until they’re fragrant and start to look clear.
Step 3: Reheat the cachupa until it’s no longer wet
Add the cachupa to the skillet and turn the heat up slightly. Cook for about 10-15 minutes (longer if you’re reheating a lot or if your cachupa contains a lot of broth). You’ll notice the liquid bubble as it cooks and the cachupa will start to brown underneath and crisp around the edges.
Cachupa guisado will continue to dry out as it cooks, and you’ll end up with a mixture that resembles hash once it’s done. If your cachupa contains root vegetables, they may appear slightly browned and and should be warm in the center.
Step 4: Transfer the cachupa to a covered dish and fry the eggs
Cut the flame from under the skillet and transfer the cachupa guisado to a separate dish or bowl. Keep the bowl covered to keep the cachupa guisado warm. Carefully wipe the skillet out using a few paper towels.
Grease the skillet using vegetable oil or cooking spray, return the skillet to the stove and turn the flame back on. Fry the the eggs to your liking (sunny side up, over easy, medium or hard).
Step 5: Plate and serve
Plate each dish with a generous portion of cachupa guisado, and top with a fried egg or two as shown in the photo below.
Cachupa Guisado as part of a larger Cape Verdean breakfast
Cachupa guisado is typically served as part of a large weekend breakfast. A few links of linguiça or chouriço, some fried sweet plantains or warm Portuguese rolls (papo seco) can be served with the dish along with coffee, tea or fruit juice.
Please make sure to check out the FULL RECIPE for Cachupa as well as my other favorite Cape Verdean dishes!
- Cachupa: Traditional Dish of Cape Verde – Full Recipe
- Brinhola – Cape Verdean Banana Fritters Recipe
- Traditional Cape Verdean Cuscuz (Cuscuz de milho)
- Linguica with Peppers and Onions (Cape Verdean Recipe)
- Cape Verdean Sweet Potato Gufong (Gufonginho)
- Canja – Cape Verdean Chicken Soup Recipe
- Cape Verdean Pastel Recipe – Pastel de Atum
- Modje de São Nicolau- Cape Verdean Goat Stew Recipe
How to Make Cachupa Guisado
- 1 small onion
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups leftover cachupa with the liquid drained off
- 4 whole eggs or 1-2 per serving
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying the eggs
- Start with desired amount of leftover cachupa. Using a mesh sieve or slotted spoon, drain off any liquid. Discard the liquid and set the cachupa aside. Don't worry if the cachupa maintains some of its liquid or appears wet even after you drain the liquid off. The moisture will be absorbed during the cooking process.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions to the skillet and toss them until they're fragrant and start to look clear.
- Add the cachupa to the skillet and turn the heat up slightly. Cook for about 10-15 minutes (longer depending on the amount and how much broth is remaining). You'll notice the liquid bubble and dry up as the cachupa cooks. When it's ready, you'll end up with a mixture that resembles hash. If your cachupa contains root vegetables, check to make sure they are warm in the center.
- Cut the flame from under the skilley and transfer the cachupa guisado to a covered dish or bowl. Carefully wipe the skillet out using a few paper towels. Grease the skillet using vegetable oil or cooking spray, and turn the flame back on. Fry the the eggs to your liking (either sunny side up, or over-easy, medium or hard).
- Plate each dish with a generous portion of cachupa guisado. Place 1 or 2 fried eggs on top, and serve.
- A large non-stick skillet is recommended. A 10 inch skillet is shown in the photos. I like non-stick because it can be cleaned easily.
- Recipe cites very loose measurements, all ingredients can be eye-balled. The main intent of this 'recipe' is to demonstrate the technique.
- A sunny side up egg is shown in the photos, but you can also prepare the eggs over-easy, over-medium or over-hard. Scrambled eggs are not traditionally served with this dish.