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Traditional Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

Traditional Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

Chifrijo is a Costa Rican dish consisting mainly of stewed beans, white rice, pork chicharron and pico de gallo. The items are cooked separately then combined and served in the same bowl. Typical accompaniments are tortillas or corn chips, avocados and lime wedges.

While different types of beans may be used, the original dish used large red kidney beans. Some variations use chimichurri instead of pico de gallo.

The major differences between pico de gallo and chimichurri is that chimichurri has a finer texture and usually does not contain peppers whereas pico de gallo is chunky. Chifrijo was originally meant to be an appetizer or light snack. Now it is often eaten in larger quantity as a main meal or street food.

Origin & Cultural Significance

The name Chifrijo is a combination of chicharrones (crispy fried pork) and frijoles, which means beans. The origin of Chifrijo is well documented since it’s a fairly recent addition to Costa Rican cuisine. It was invented in the 90’s by a bar owner who was looking to satisfy his hunger.

It became a part of his menu as a bar snack and its popularity spread becoming a mainstay in Costa Rican cuisine.


Costa Rican Chifrijo Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Chifrijo is a Costa Rican dish consisting mainly of stewed beans, white rice, pork chicharron and pico de gallo.



  • Large red kidney beans – 2 lbs
  • Garlic head, peeled and chopped – 1
  • Yellow onion, chopped - 1
  • Celery stalk, chopped - 1
  • Carrots, peeled and chopped - 2
  • Pork rib – 10 oz.
  • Thyme sprigs – 2


  • Pork cheek or belly, cut into small pieces – 14 oz.
  • Lemons – 2
  • Garlic cloves – 3

Pico de Gallo

  • Whole tomato - 1
  • Onion, chopped – 1/2
  • Cilantro – 1 bunch
  • Celery leaves – ¼ cup
  • Jalapeño pepper - 1
  • Lemon – 1
  • Salt and pepper - to taste

To Serve

  • Cooked white rice – 2 cups
  • Avocado - 1


  1. Place the beans, head of garlic, onion, celery stalk, carrots, pork ribs, thyme sprigs in a large pot and boil for 2 hours over low heat until the beans are soft.
  2. Add salt to taste and cook for 15 more minutes.
  3. Marinate the pork in the juice of two lemons, salt and pepper for one hour.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, place the garlic cloves and oil and fry the pork pieces until golden brown.
  5. Prepare the pico de gallo by finely chopping the tomato, onion, cilantro, celery, jalapeño pepper.
  6. Mix well and add the juice of a lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Slice the avocado.
  8. In bowls, portion out the beans, chicharron, rice and pico de gallo. Top with the avocado.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 515Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 11gSugar: 3gProtein: 33g

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