Fish and Shrimp Stew: Vatapa de Peixe e Camarao

Fish and Shrimp Stew: Vatapa de Peixe e Camarao

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  • * 1 cup dried shrimp

  • * 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • * 2 cups chopped onion

  • * ½ cup ground, toasted cashew nuts

  • * ½ cup ground, toasted blanched almonds

  • * 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • * 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • * 1 tablespoon minced, seeded red chile peppers

  • * 4 cups fish or shrimp stock

  • * 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk

  • * 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • * 1 pound sea bass fillets or other firm white fish fillets, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • * 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • * Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • * ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • * 6 lime wedges, for garnish

  • * Steamed long grain white rice, accompaniment


Soak the dried shrimp in warm water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain, then puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside. Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Saute the onions, stirring often, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pureed shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Add the nuts, garlic, ginger and peppers and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the stock, coconut milk and lime juice and cook until reduced by 1/2, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the fish and simmer until the fish is almost cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro and remove from the heat. Arrange a scoop of rice in the center of 6 large plates or soup bowls. Ladle the stew over the rice and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Place 1 lime wedge on each plate and serve immediately.


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