Guam's Chamorro Dishes


There’s so many ways to explore Guam and one of the best is through your tastebuds. Find all you need to know about Guam’s local cuisine and the top 10 Chamorro dishes.

Chamorro Cuisine

The Chamorro people are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands where Guam is located. Chamorro cuisine is influenced by Spanish, Mexican, American, Japanese and Filipino culture and has resulted in some of the most delicious savoury and sweet dishes.

1 Chicken Kelaguen

This Guam dish looks deceptively simple but the flavours will excite your tastebuds. Inspired by Philippine cuisine with Latin American influences Chicken Kelaguen is marinaded in a lemony and spicy sauce with fresh coconut. You can also get shrimp and fish versions where the lemon marinade is used to ceviche the seafood. Kelaguen is often served with island-style tortillas called titiyas made with coconut flour.

2 Escabeche

Escabeche is a popular Chamorro seafood dish inspired by Spanish cuisine. The fish is poached or fried in vinegar sauce and served with eggplant, cabbage, carrots and green peppers. In traditional Chamorro cooking you’ll see this dish served on the weekend or at special occasions. Sometimes turmeric and ginger is used to add a yummy golden hue to this Guam local food.

3 Finadenne

Not quite a dish, but an essential condiment on every table in Guam is finadenne. Some people use tomato sauce, some use mayonnaise, for others it’s mustard, but in Guam it’s finadenne— a perfectly balanced dipping sauce that’s sour, salty and spicy. The base is soy sauce and vinegar with finely diced peppers and chillies. Perfect on steamed rice, drizzled over meat or as a dipping sauce for Lumpia — Chamorro’s crunchy spring roll. If you’re making this sauce at home, swap some of the chillies for cherry tomatoes for a less fiery experience when trying this local Guam sauce.

4 BBQ Short Ribs

Sunset BBQs in Guam come served with trays of bbq short ribs. The sticky sweet amber glaze with a beer, a Guam sunset and a little side salad equals the end to a perfect day in paradise. For the best ribs in Guam, you’ll find Chamorro Island BBQ restaurants dotted along the coast each serving mouthwatering ribs.

5 BBQ Chicken

In Chamorro cuisine BBQ chicken borrows its marinade from the BBQ short ribs with some chilli or hot peppers added to balance out the sweetness. It’s crispy and juicy and best served with red rice. Guam BBQ restaurants will use their own secret marinade with different ingredients that add to the depth of flavour.

6 Hotnon Babui

Often reserved for the luau of celebrations, this roasted pork dish is indulgent, extravagant and can feed whole neighbourhoods. It takes hours of cooking, as the whole pig spins on the spit while it’s patiently basted. When done, grab your finadenne dipping sauce for the perfect marriage of Chamorro flavours. We sometimes bring out our spit at the Crowne Plaza Resort Guam for beachside celebrations. Ask our concierge for the next time we’ll be serving this Guam speciality, hotnon babui.

7 Red Rice

A staple dish in Chamorro cooking, you’ll see it at every buffet and Guam restaurant across the island. The key ingredient is achiote seeds or powder which gives the rice its golden red appearance. Achiote has a mild peppery flavour but it’s mainly used as food colouring.

8 Bunelos Aga (Banana Donuts)

Soft, warm, sweet and made with love from local bananas. These banana donuts are deep fried balls of goodness best dipped in maple syrup. Some variations are made with canned peaches for extra yumminess and sweetness.

9 Gollai Appan Lenmai

Lenmai is breadfruit and it grows all of Guam— the climate is perfect for it. In Chamorro cooking in Guam lenmai is baked in coconut milk or fried with sometimes a little sprinkle of sugar for sweetness. Gollai Appan Lenmai is a vegan dish that’s potato-like in texture.

10 Latiya

We’ve saved the best till last. Yummy and fluffy in texture, latiya is a vanilla custard spongecake topped with cinnamon and sugar. It’s one of the most popular Chamorro desserts that’s a delicious fusion of a creme caramel and bread pudding.

Where to get Chamorro food in Guam

The Chamorro Village Market is a good place to try local cuisine and fit in some shopping at the same time. Open every day until late, this food market is a BBQ lovers fiesta where you can try BBQ ribs and chicken with red rice, Chicken or shrimp kelaguen and end with a coconut juice and fired banana donut. Visit Chamorro Village Market on Wednesdays when it comes alive and stays open till midnight.

Contact us at Crowne Plaza Resort Guam for any advice on dining and sightseeing in Guam, our Concierge team will be more than happy to assist.

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