A tasty, on-the-go dish

*Recipe courtesy of Peace Corps Belize

Salbutes are a traditional mestizo meal that you may find in many restaurants. People also make these at home from time to time, especially for dinner. Salbutes are basically puffed corn tortillas with shredded chicken breast and veggies on top.


For the shredded chicken:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Red recado (red seasoning paste)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional – diced tomato, diced sweet pepper, cilantro to taste
  • Optional - cumin, oregano, thyme to taste
  • Optional - 1 tbsp cooking oil

For the dough:

  • ½ lb corn flour
  • Red recado (red seasoning paste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil for frying the dough – about 1 liter

Vegetable slaw:

  • ¼ lb Cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • Salt and vinegar or lime to taste
  • Optional - cilantro
  • Optional – habanero



  • Boil chicken breast (cover chicken breast with water) along with minced garlic, diced onion and salt. Cook for about 15-20 mins or until fully cooked. Reserve boiling liquid/broth.
  • After chicken breast has cooled, shred with two forks.
  • Optional step – in 1 tbsp cooking oil, stir-fry one small diced tomato, half of a diced sweet pepper, half a diced onion and cilantro. On top, of this add shredded chicken breast and follow next step.
  • In a saucepan, add shredded chicken breast with 1/2 cup of boiling liquid, and add red recado (just enough to color the chicken breast), black pepper and salt to taste.
  • Cook for another 10-15 minutes and keep warm.


  • Take ½ lb corn flour and add red recado (just enough to color corn dough), salt (to taste) and water. With hands, stir ingredients together and knead until you form a firm dough that is easily manageable. Make little balls of corn dough, about 1-2 tablespoons each.
  • Heat about 1 liter of cooking oil to heat in skillet, frying pan or dutch oven.
  • Using sheets of parchment paper or cling wrap and a tortilla press (or a plate to press), flatten the little dough balls between sheets of plastic or parchment paper and make tortillas for frying.
  • Once the cooking oil is hot, fry the corn tortillas in batches, turning them from side-to-side until lightly brown, but not crispy. Tortillas will inflate.

Vegetable slaw:

  • Shred cabbage and carrots (or slice carrots) and add a pinch of salt and lime or vinegar to taste. Set aside.
  • Dice tomatoes and onion. Mix adding a pinch of salt. Add finely chopped cilantro if desired. Set aside.

Build your salbutes

  • Spread fried tortillas on plate.
  • On top of tortillas, add shredded chicken.
  • On top of shredded chicken, add cabbage.
  • On top of cabbage, add tomato and onion mixture.
  • Top with some finely chopped habanero pepper, if desired.

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