Menudo vs Pozole: Can You Name These Differences?

Menudo vs Pozole

It is apparent that these two dishes, Menudo and Pozole, are popular in Mexico. However, despite their different provenance, many people find it challenging to distinguish them. If you are a Mexican cuisine enthusiast, the article below will help you apprehend these two iconic soups.

Quick Facts

Menudo

  • Origin: Central Mexico
  • Cooking ingredients: beef tripe, cow feet, onion, garlic, pepper, oregano
  • Cooking methods: stewing for hours

Pozole 

  • Origin:  Aztec civilization
  • Cooking ingredients: hominy, pork or chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, pepper
  • Cooking methods: simmering in a significant amount of time 

Related: Authentic Mexican foods you should try today

The Similarities

First of all, they are two famous traditional Mexican soups used during special occasions.

Secondly, they are both a must-have dish that requires many cooking hours and contains the same seasoning ingredients, like dried onion, crushed red pepper, and oregano corn kernels that have been soaked in a solution of lime. 

Furthermore, they are healthy foods that contain high amounts of nutrients, thus providing excellent benefits for your health. Learn how to make these two soups and enjoy them with your family on the weekends. 

Main Differences

Overall, there are three crucial differences that help you distinguish these two distinctive Mexican soups.

Origin (are they all Mexican?)

Menudo

The exact origin of the Menudo soup remains a mystery, but most residents believe it comes from central Mexico.

Since the 1930s, it has been known as “working-class” soup. This name is because several poor farmers have created this dish by using the less popular parts of the cow. 

Over time, hard-working Mexican immigrants brought this affordable dish across borders to other countries. Finally, it quickly became famous around the world. 

Pozole 

It must be said that Pozole was born hundreds of years before the Menudo soup. This famous soup originates from the Aztec civilization and is consumed on special occasions or religious ceremonies. So get ready to be surprised by its scary legend. 

After a battle, the Aztec warrior captures an enemy and forces him to fight to the death. The fallen warrior’s body was then used to create a stew consumed at the feast of religious leaders, kings, and Aztec warriors.

Fortunately, after many years, the main ingredient in Pozole has been replaced by pork or chicken. So now, it has become a traditional Mexican soup.

Food ingredients 

Menudo 

Although this soup has various versions, here are your basic Menudo must-haves: 

  • Stomach lining and legs of cows
  • Onion, garlic 
  • Chili peppers such as guajillo, anchor chile de arbol
  • Some special spices like oregano, rosemary, cumin, bay leaf

Pozole

A great pozole soup cannot be without the following ingredients: 

  • Hominy (the hominy is often a must-have, remember that)
  • Pork or chicken 
  • Onion, garlic
  • Spices like oregano and cumin
  • Ancho, guajillo, and/or chile de arbol for making red pozole
  • Tomatillo, poblano, jalapeño, and/or serrano for making green pozole

Cooking recipe

Menudo

Here are detailed instructions on how to cook a standard Menudo: 

  • Marinate beef with lemon and soy sauce before cooking. Place all in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour. Don’t forget to cover the bowl.
  • Sauteed onion and garlic
  • After the onions are soft, take the marinated meat out of the refrigerator and cook until golden brown.
  • Add tomato sauce and bay leaves.
  • Cover and stew over low heat for 60 to 70 minutes, depending on the quality of the meat.
  • Add vegetables, spices and cook for a few more minutes.

Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all in one sitting. This soup tastes better when stored in the refrigerator.

Pozole 

Read the instructions below to make the perfect pozole soup for your family: 

  • Season the pork (or chicken) with salt and pepper before starting to cook.
  • Heat the mixture of pork, onions, garlic, cloves, and broth in a large pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the pork. 
  • Cover and cook reduce heat to a simmer for half an hour.
  • During that time, soak the dried peppers in hot water. After 20 minutes, put the peppers in a blender to blend until smooth and add water as necessary. 
  • Add the pureed chili and hominy to the pork pot (always remember the hominy).
  • Cover, continue to simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes for softening the meat.
  • Enjoy it with cabbage, radish, and cilantro. 

Is Menudo Good For Hangovers?

There is anecdotal evidence that Menudo can help to sober up after a night of drinking. While it may not end your hangover ultimately, it helps to reduce hangover symptoms due to its healing properties, including: 

  • Spice/Capsaicin: Capsaicin is a chemical compound that enhances the palatability of spicy foods. Its main advantage is the relief from a headache through the release of users’ endorphins. 
  • Hydration: Drinking alcohol leads to dehydration. This is one of the leading causes of hangover symptoms. In the meantime, a Menudo soup can provide more hydration than other foods and make you feel better. 
  • Blood sugar: After drinking alcohol, you may feel nauseous due to a low blood glucose level. Enjoy Menudo to increase blood sugar and help relieve nausea.

Is It Healthy To Eat Menudo?

Is Menudo healthy? Obviously, yes, as long as cooking according to the recipe because it contains calories and high nutrition. 

Many people worry about bad things that could happen from eating Menudo due to consuming raw animal products. However, this is not possible when you cook all the ingredients thoroughly before putting them in the pot.

3 Different Types Of Pozole 

Pozole Rojo (the red one)

This is a soup made from pork shoulder meat combined with homemade enchilada sauce to enhance the taste. Vegetables are arranged on top depending on the preferences of the cook. 

Pozole Verde (the green one)

This type uses special spices like tomatillo, poblano, jalapeño to create a delicious, flavorful green broth. Another unique thing is that this version uses shredded chicken instead of pork, which still includes hominy.

Pozole Blanco 

This white pozole soup version is for those who don’t eat spicily but are still flavorful. It is often garnished with lots of fresh, crunchy, and creamy additions.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

Recent Posts