Recipe for Chulibu’ul (Mayan Succotash)

November 16, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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This ancient Mayan recipe comes to us from Chef Mario and the late Chef David Sterling of Culinary Yucatan cooking vacation. It’s a great option for a 4th of July cookout if you want an alternative to baked beans! Or, serve it as a side for a Mexican feast.

The name, by the way, comes from the words “bu’ul” (bean) and “chul” (the process of scooping out the last bits of a meal with your fingers) – so you know it has to be good! You can also learn it in Mexico during our cooking vacation in the Yucatan.

Check out all our culinary vacations in Mexico.

Corn on the cob

Chulibu’ul (Mayan Succotash)

Serves 10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 65 minutes
Cook method: Simmer


  • 1 lb of espelón beans (or black eyed peas), rinsed and picked over
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 sprigs epazote (or 1 tsp dried epazote)
  • 1/2 c. lard (or vegetable oil)
  • 4 c. fresh corn kernels
  • 1 c. white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 10 oz. tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano (preferably Yucateco)

Read an interview with chef David.

Mexican epazoteInstructions:
1. Place the beans, water, salt, and epazote in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes until the beans are tender but not full cooked. Remove from heat and set aside, removing epazote sprigs.

2. Heat the oil/lard until hot but not smoking, and saute 1 c. of the corn kernels until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and pepper, cooking until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add to the beans.

3. Pure the other 3 cups of corn kernels in a blender, along with a few ladles of the bean cooking liquid. Puree until smooth, then add to the beans. Simmer over low, stirring frequently.

4. Heat the oregano in a dry pan to lightly toast, then pass it through a sieve and add to the beans along with the pepper. Salt to taste.

5. Serve accompanied with chopped hard boiled egg, pepita molida (ground pumpkin seeds), tomate frito (tomato salsa), and Kut bi’Ik salsa.

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Try more of chef David’s authentic Mexican recipes:

By Peg Kern

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