Buší Uncovered: A Comprehensive Guide to Its History and Recipes

“Buší Uncovered: A Comprehensive Guide to Its History and Recipes”


In the heart of Guam’s vibrant culture lies a culinary treasure – Buší. Beyond the ordinary, this dish weaves together history, tradition, and delectable flavors. Join us on a journey of discovery as we unveil the secrets of Buší, tracing its roots, embracing its cultural significance, and mastering the art of crafting this enchanting cuisine in your own kitchen. In this article, we embark on a tantalizing odyssey, exploring the past, present, and future of Buší, inviting you to savor a slice of Guam’s rich culinary heritage.

The Origins and History of Buší

Buší, Guam’s culinary gem, is more than just a dish; it’s a captivating tale of history and cultural evolution. Rooted in the indigenous Chamorro culture, Buší has a history as diverse as the island itself. The very word “Buší,” derived from Chamorro, embodies the essence of blending and mixing, a reflection of its unique culinary heritage.

Originally born out of necessity, Buší was a testament to resourcefulness, with the Chamorro people creatively utilizing local ingredients. Over centuries, it transformed into a symbol of cultural identity, preserving the island’s traditions in every delectable bite. Join us as we delve into the intriguing origins and historical significance of this beloved Guam dish, a culinary journey steeped in the past yet thriving in the present.

How to Make Authentic Buší Dishes at Home

Buší, with its roots deep in the heart of Guam, is more than just a meal – it’s a culinary masterpiece that connects the past and present. To truly savor the essence of Guam’s heritage, one must embark on the journey of creating authentic Buší dishes right in the comfort of their own kitchen.

The magic begins with a careful selection of ingredients. Rice, the cornerstone of Buší, lays the foundation for a symphony of flavors. Fresh coconut milk, annatto seeds for their vibrant hue, and a choice of proteins like chicken, pork, or fish add depth and richness to the dish. The ensemble is completed with the addition of locally sourced vegetables, such as eggplants and green beans, providing a delightful crunch.

But the secret to crafting Buší lies not only in the ingredients but also in the technique. From preparing the rice with utmost care to extracting the creamy coconut milk, every step is a dance of flavors. The infusion of annatto seeds for that distinctive golden color, the sautéing of aromatics like onions, garlic, and ginger, and the careful layering of ingredients – all these elements come together to create the symphony that is Buší.


Buší, the culinary gem of Guam, owes its irresistible charm to a carefully curated ensemble of ingredients. To embark on the journey of crafting authentic Buší, understanding these essential components is crucial. Let’s delve into the core ingredients that bring this delightful dish to life:

  1. Rice: At the heart of Buší lies rice, meticulously chosen and prepared to perfection. It serves as the canvas upon which the rich flavors of Guam are painted.
  2. Coconut Milk: Freshly grated coconut milk is the elixir that bestows Buší with its signature creaminess and tropical fragrance. Alternatively, canned coconut milk can be used.
  3. Annatto Seeds: These vibrant seeds, when heated in oil, release a captivating red hue. The annatto-infused oil not only imparts color but also adds depth to the dish.
  4. Proteins: Buší offers versatility with a selection of proteins, including chicken, pork, or fish. These proteins infuse the dish with a range of flavors and textures.
  5. Vegetables: Local vegetables, such as eggplants and green beans, add a delightful crunch and freshness to Buší. Their inclusion brings balance to the dish.

Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in the symphony of flavors that define Buší. The careful selection and preparation of these components are the first steps in creating an authentic Buší experience.


Buší is more than just an assemblage of ingredients; it’s a culinary art form that requires finesse and precision. To bring this dish to life in your kitchen, let’s delve into the techniques that define its authenticity:

  1. Preparing the Rice: Begin by thoroughly washing and setting aside the rice. This is the canvas upon which the Buší masterpiece will be painted, so attention to detail matters.
  2. Extracting Coconut Milk: Grate fresh coconut to extract the rich, creamy coconut milk. Alternatively, you can use canned coconut milk. This is the essence of Buší’s tropical flavor.
  3. Infusing Color with Annatto Seeds: Heat annatto seeds in oil until they release their vibrant red hue. This colored oil will later impart the dish with its golden appearance and unique depth of flavor.
  4. Sautéing Aromatics: In a large pot, sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant. This aromatic base sets the stage for the symphony of flavors to come.
  5. Layering Ingredients: Assemble your choice of protein, fresh vegetables, and prepared rice in the pot. Add the coconut milk and annatto-infused oil. Allow them to simmer together until the rice is tender and the flavors meld harmoniously.

These techniques are the brushstrokes on the canvas of Buší, each one contributing to the masterpiece. With attention to detail and a touch of creativity, you’ll master the art of crafting authentic Buší in your own kitchen.

Dishes to Try

While Buší itself is a culinary adventure, Guam offers a delightful array of Buší varieties, each with its own unique flavors and ingredients. Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of the must-try Buší dishes that will tantalize your taste buds:

1. Kadon Pika: A fiery delight, Kadon Pika is a spicy chicken stew that captures the essence of Guam’s bold flavors. Here’s a glimpse of how to prepare it:

  • Ingredients for Kadon Pika:

    • 2 lbs of chicken, cut into pieces
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2-3 hot peppers (adjust to taste)
    • 2 cups coconut milk
    • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon of annatto seeds
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Technique for Kadon Pika:

    1. Heat annatto seeds in oil until they release their vibrant color, then strain the oil.
    2. Sauté onions, garlic, and hot peppers until fragrant in a pot.
    3. Add chicken pieces and brown them.
    4. Pour in coconut milk and annatto-infused oil. Simmer until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickens.
    5. Season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve hot with steamed rice.

2. Tinala Katne: This dish features dried, salted beef that’s grilled to perfection, offering a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. It’s often enjoyed as a snack or side dish.

3. Beef Tinaktak: A comforting dish, Beef Tinaktak combines ground beef with coconut milk and a medley of vegetables, creating a hearty and creamy stew.

4. Shrimp Patties (Kåtne) and Red Rice: These shrimp patties, typically served with Guam’s signature red rice, are a delightful snack or side dish, showcasing the island’s love for seafood.

5. Chicken Kelaguen: A zesty chicken salad, Chicken Kelaguen is made with lemon juice, coconut, and hot peppers. It’s a refreshing and tangy dish perfect for warm days.

These Buší varieties offer a diverse culinary experience, allowing you to explore the many flavors and ingredients that make Guam’s cuisine truly exceptional.

Technique for Kadon Pika

Kadon Pika, a fiery chicken stew from Guam, is a culinary adventure that awakens the palate with its bold and spicy flavors. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to master the technique of preparing this mouthwatering dish:

Ingredients for Kadon Pika:

  • 2 pounds of chicken, artfully cut into pieces
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced with care
  • 2 to 3 hot peppers, tailored to your spice preference
  • 2 cups of creamy coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of annatto seeds for color
  • Salt and pepper, guided by your discerning taste

The Art of Crafting Kadon Pika:

  1. Infuse Color: Start by heating the annatto seeds in oil until they unfurl their vibrant color. Strain the oil to capture its essence, ready to paint your culinary canvas.
  2. Aromatic Prelude: In a pot, the aroma of sautéed onions, garlic, and hot peppers fills the air, setting the stage for the main event. This trio forms the flavorful backdrop against which the chicken will shine.
  3. The Chicken Dance: As you introduce the chicken pieces, they transform from raw to golden brown, a mesmerizing sight. This step infuses the dish with savory chicken goodness.
  4. Coconut Symphony: With the chicken as the star, pour in the coconut milk and annatto-infused oil. Allow the ingredients to mingle and simmer. The coconut milk brings creamy richness, while the annatto oil imparts a vibrant hue.
  5. Seasoned Perfection: The final touch involves the addition of soy sauce, salt, and pepper. These seasonings are your brushes for fine-tuning the flavor profile of Kadon Pika. Adjust them according to your taste preference.
  6. Simmer and Savor: Let the Kadon Pika simmer gently until the chicken becomes tender and the sauce luxuriously thickens. It’s during this simmering phase that the flavors meld and reach their crescendo.
  7. Serve Hot: The grand finale – serve Kadon Pika hot, accompanied by a generous helping of steamed rice. The spiciness of the dish, balanced by the creamy coconut, is a true feast for the senses.

With this technique, you’re poised to create Kadon Pika that’s not only delicious but a reflection of Guam’s culinary heritage.


Buší is not just a dish; it’s a cultural journey that reflects the history, traditions, and flavors of Guam. Its evolution from humble beginnings to a cherished delicacy is a testament to the island’s vibrant culinary heritage.

By following the techniques and recipes provided, you can recreate the magic of Buší in your own kitchen. And if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t forget to try the fiery goodness of Kadon Pika.

So, whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or simply curious about world cuisines, Buší offers a delectable experience that will transport your taste buds to the beautiful island of Guam. Prepare it with love, share it with friends and family, and savor the rich flavors that make Buší a true gastronomic treasure.