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Guatemalan Kak’ik Recipe

Guatemalan Kak’ik Recipe

Kak’ik is a Guatemalan soup prepared using a kind of turkey known as chompipe. Other ingredients used include cloves, cinnamon, peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos and Cobánero chile.

The soup is generally red in color which comes from the inclusion of annatto seeds from the achiote tree. Kak’ik is usually served along with rice, chili, white tamales covered in Calathea lutea leaves, and a cocoa drink.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Kak’ik is believed to have a pre-Hispanic origin. The name of this dish originated within the Maya civilization and is a combination of two terms: kak (red) and ik (extremely spicy). It was acknowledged as a constituent of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Nation in 2007.


Guatemalan Kak'ik Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • Turkey drumsticks - 4
  • Roma tomatoes - 6
  • Onions - 2
  • Red peppers - 2
  • Tomatillos (husks removed) - 1 cup
  • Turkey stock or chicken broth - 4 cups
  • Dried chile guaque - 1
  • Dried chile pasa - 1
  • Cobanero chile powder - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon (ground) - 1/2 tsp
  • Cloves (ground) - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 heads
  • Cilantro - 1/2 cup
  • Mint - 1/4 cup
  • Achiote (dissolved in water) - ½ tsp


  1. Begin by taking the turkey and cutting it into small pieces. Make sure to get rid of additional fat and loose skin. Now, pour enough chicken or turkey stock on top so that it envelopes the meat pieces completely. Throw in the cilantro, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Give all the ingredients a good mix and bring the broth to a boil. Once done, let it simmer for an additional 45 minutes until the meat becomes tender. Take the meat pieces out and save the cilantro and garlic.
  2. In the meantime, take a dry skillet and throw onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, and tomatillos in it. Char all the ingredients over a gas flame or grill, and once done, take them all out and keep them aside.
  3. It’s time to take dried chiles now. Get rid of the seeds and add the chiles to the same skillet until they start to become fragrant. However, make sure not to burn them.
  4. Next, take a cup of the warm turkey broth and dip the freshly prepared charred-dried chile peppers in it until they soften.
  5. Now gather the soaked chile pasa, roasted vegetables, and chile guaque. Add all of them to a food processor. Pour a cup of turkey stock and reserved garlic. Combine everything and allow it to process until you obtain a smooth puree.
  6. Now, throw in cinnamon, achiote, powdered chile de coban, and cloves. Process again. You can pour in more turkey broth if needed, to make it smooth.
  7. It’s time to pour the prepared puree over the turkey and allow all the ingredients to cook until you obtain a thick stew. This may take you about 15 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and combine.
  8. Top the dish with cilantro and mint right before consuming.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 720Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 644mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 20gProtein: 83g

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