Spicy Guatemalan Pork and Chicken Stew (Suban-Ik)

Suban-Ik

Spicy Guatemalan Pork and Chicken Stew (Suban-Ik)

A steaming pot of Suban-Ik, a hen stew local to San Martin Jilotepeque.Christopher Bagley

Maya women like Marta Hernandez Boror and her mother, Maria Boror, steam this tomato and chile-based stew inside an elaborate bundle of mashan leaves (similar to plantain leaves). Since the leaves can be hard to find outside Guatemala—and the bundle is difficult to construct—a piece of banana leaf placed in a simmering pot will add a similar earthy flavor. Espinazo de cerdo, or pork spine, is traditionally used to give the stock rich flavor, but any pork or even beef bones will work. This dish is spicy, but if you want extra heat, leave the chile seeds in, like the Borors do.