Recipes from the Islands – Guam and the Chamorro Culture


I am not the only one that writes regularly on the Internet.   My mother, Joyce,  has a regular cultural column on Guam.  Recently she wrote an article on some unique recipes from Guam.


I read your article on sour sop a few months back. Do you have any recipes as well as recipes for Estufao and Rosketi?

One of the best things in life is enjoying the tropical fruits native to Guam.Perhaps it brings back all those days in my youth when life was simple.
Everything we ate came from the fruits of my grandfather’s labor. Fruits and vegetables were plentiful—sour sops, sweet sops, bananas, tangerine, watermelons, cantaloupes, papaya, breadfruits, and many more. We had milk from cows, goat cheese, honey from bees, and we had chicken, beef and pork. The aroma from the kitchen was always inviting with all of Mom’s or Dad’s cooking.
Take sour sop for instance … I just like to eat the ripe fruit as is; some preferred to squeeze the liquid and drink it that way. As for Rosketi, Mom baked them to perfection; they actually melted in your mouth. She made Estufao with chicken or pork.
Today, with costs of things are skyrocketing, my memories transcend back to those days of simplicity only made possible because of hardworking parents and grandparents. Electricity came from coconut oil lanterns and windows were left opened to fresh air and breeze. Cooking was done on wood stove and hotno (stone oven). Here are a few recipes.

Sour Sop Chilled Drink


5 to 6 cups of ripe sour sop meat without seeds; add ? cup sugar (use substitute sugar) or 4 tablespoons honey; 6 cups water; a pinch of nutmeg (optional)
Using a blender, place ? of sour sop meat and 3 cups of water and blend until it starts to turn into liquid. Add the remaining sour sop, remaining water, sugar or honey and blend until it becomes soft and liquefies. Add nutmeg. Stir. Pour into a pitcher and chill. This is a refreshing and very healthy drink.

How about a Sour Sop Shake?
Try throwing in a blender 1 cup ripe sour sop meat without seeds, add 2 cups icy cold milk or low fat milk, 4 tablespoons of sugar or honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Blend until you have a thick smooth liquid and walla! You have a sour sop shake!

Rosketi Cookies
1 box cornstarch; 4 ? tablespoons or sugar; ? pound butter or margarine; ? cup milk; 2 tablespoons of flour; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 2 eggs; ? cup water; a drop of lemon extract and a drop of vanilla extract
Turn oven on to 300 degrees

Mix dry ingredients; beat eggs and sugar to blend. Mix water and milk. Add and mix eggs-sugar combination to dry ingredients. Gradually add milk water and mix. Turn mixture into dough (it should not be dry); add lemon and vanilla extract. Knead for at least two minutes on a kneading board. Pinch small portions into balls; roll each into pretzel shape. Lay about 1/8 inches a part on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Cookies should be very light brown and not too hard.

Rib Estufao (pork or chicken can be used)
2 lbs of pork ribs (cut in halves); 4 garlic cloves (roughly minced); ? cup chopped onions;1/4 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice; ? teaspoons of black pepper; 2 teaspoons of soy sauce (light); 2 tablespoons of coconut milk; 1 ? cups mashed cherry tomatoes (other vegetables could be added like string beans, squash); 1 cup water.

Bring enough water to boil and then add cut pork ribs, boiling for 5 minutes (this removes some of the fats). Drain water. Place ribs into a bowl cool a bit and then marinate ribs in garlic, onions, salt vinegar-lemon, pepper and soy sauce for 5 minutes. Then drain liquid into a cup or small bowl. Empty everything into a large pot and cook for 3 minutes over high heat, stirring every minute or two. Stir the mashed cherry tomatoes in with the ribs, lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add water and reserved marinade liquids to it, stirring to mix. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turn to low heat for another 10 minutes or until ribs are done. When done, add coconut milk and stir to mix. Turn off heat. Cover for another 5 minutes and serve with steam rice.
Enjoy …

si Joyce I. Martratt





33 thoughts on “Recipes from the Islands – Guam and the Chamorro Culture

  1. Hafa Adai!!! I was wondering…..can you get a recipe for Potu?? I have searched and searched the internet and am having no such luck.

    This is my hubby’s all time favorite, and I would really like to surprise him with a batch of these goodies when he returns home on R&R in Afghanistan. I hope you can help….thank you in advance, Rose Camacho, Clarksville, TN.

  2. Hafa Adai Tasi!

    Just thought I would share with you and your readers my cookbook: A Taste of Guam. It is available through or If you visit my website, you will also find more information on several book projects currently in the works. The 2nd book, Remember Guam, will have 15-20 recipes not found in A Taste of Guam…..including the closest poto recipe that I have ever tried. Of course, the best poto is that made with tuba….which unfortunately is not available stateside.


  3. I’ve already purchased two “Taste of Guam” cookbooks. It’s an awesome book!! I can’t wait for your 2nd one to come out Paula….I’m looking forward to the poto recipe and making it for my hubby. It’s his all-time favorite.

  4. Hi…I was wondering if you had the poto recipe? If so, I would appreciate it if you could share it with me 🙂 Thanks!

  5. hello, i really would like to make the potu but what kind of mold do i use?what kind of steamer? need your help, if i can do this we don’t have to wait once a year to get them..

    melinda wright

  6. I was wondering if i can get the recipe on how to make the crust for the pumpkin turnover. Been searching online but had no luck. Si Yu’us Ma’ase!!!

  7. Hi!! I have been searching and searching for a recipe for Sweet Potato Donuts…My grandma used to make them all the time with perfection. They were so yummy and I would like to make them for my little girls. Any help you can provide …I am so grateful!! Have a great one!!

  8. Hi Joyce. My family and I are new here on the Island. We are loving the lifestyle and the food. We have had grilled chicken several times at different fiestas and I am wanting a recipe of my own. Most of the people are calling it “fiesta chicken” , it is so delicious. Can you help me? Thanks, Jennifer

  9. Looking for the recipe for “vegetable salad”. You could get it as a side on your fiesta plate at Chamorro Village. Thanks so much!

  10. I am hopeing you can help me. I am looking for the recipe for veggie salad. I love it so much and want to make it for my friends back in the states but I have no idea what is in the dressing for it.

    Thank you,

  11. I see alot of you are looking for “Potu” Its really hard to make it if you don’t have Tuba… My grandmother used to make this all the time back on the island “Cruz Potu”

  12. Hello, My wife is from Guam, and we are trying to find the recipe for enpanada, I hope I spelled it right, Can you please help us out? I thank you in advance.

  13. hello. i’m glad to see that you get quite alot of request for the poto recipe. my grandma used to own CRUZ”S POTO. i can assure you that it is very well thought out and difficult to follow, even if you read it over step by step. i just wish that it were more simple. i could ask the ingredients, but i do know…she would never whip up a batch without tuba.

  14. I a a soldier deployed in Iraq and am looking for a recipe for POTU. I will be redeploying back home soon and would love to have this recipe to make for my daughters when I get home. Please someone help me find this….Thanks a million

  15. Michael,

    Chelu, first of all, I want to let you know how grateful I am for your service to our country. You are courageous and I pray for your safe return. I would suggest going to my friend Paula’s website to get a recipe on Potu. You can also email her. Here is her web site:

    Again, take care of yourself.



  16. Yes, please post the recipe for the Chamoru “Chicken Ala King” and for the cups used for that dish?

  17. Yes, please post the recipe for the Chamoru “Chicken Ala King” and for the cups used for that dish.

  18. As a child i LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the apple turnovers from the Guam Bakery and Crown Bakery. Is there a recipe?

    Also can you BAKE instead of fry the pumpkin pastit? Just curious.

    Ellie “Familia Bahu” Carter
    Boyds, Maryland

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