Meet Tom Enderlin, owner and head guide of Release Fly Travel, Photographer, Father, Husband, and… culinary genius? In our most recent installment of: “Behind the Guides” presented by Costa Sunglasses, we asked Tom if he had any of his favorite recipes he cared to share with us from his kitchen in Costa Rica. Tom didn’t disappoint…

meat on the fire

Tom: My wife and I sometimes collaborate on photography projects, and currently, we are in the process of finishing a cookbook on traditional Costa Rican cuisine. One of my favorite fish and seafood recipes comes from Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It’s called Rondón (Run-Down), and is a spicy and sweet fish stew in coconut milk using basically “whatever one can run down”. Here is the recipe (see separate attachment), but remember that cooking is all about having fun and being creative – so use this as a loose guide only.

ron don cooking

Rondón (Run-down):

Servings 6-10

Since the essence of this dish is literally “whatever one could run down” cooking can also be a bit more freestyle, adding ingredients to one’s personal taste.


~2 lbs. (900 grams) of fresh fish cut into medium-sized cubes (snapper preferred but any firm white fish will work), mussels, lobster, shrimp, crab, or a combination – basically whatever you have available

7 cups of coconut milk

2 cups chicken broth (or as much as needed to keep the right consistency as you cook)

2 lbs. (900 grams) yucca peeled and chopped into medium-sized pieces

3-5 unripe bananas peeled and chopped

1 lb. (450 grams) breadfruit (if available) chopped into medium-sized pieces

1 lb. (450 grams) ñampi or malanga (if available) chopped into medium-sized pieces

NOTE: you can substitute with potatoes, unripe plantain, sweet potato, or more of what you have available to you

2 sprigs thyme

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1-2 large onions, finely chopped

1-2 whole habanero peppers (optional)

A few large clumps of coarsely chopped ginger (optional)

1 Tbsp. curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste


Now go give it a try yourself, and remember, there are no rules in the kitchen.

Thanks to Tom Enderlin for recipe and photos

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