Get right into the center of the Brazilian carnival with this popular street food, Vatapá. Original from Africa, it is known as a specialty from the region of Bahia and spread throughout Brazil. This recipe with a modern twist comes directly from Brazil. Ground annatto seeds add a warm, earthy flavor and natural red color. Though shrimp is a typical ingredient, Vatapá is just as popular without it.
- 1 lb raw shrimp cleaned
- 1 cup coconut milk shake can well
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 4 cups cooked rice
- up to 1 cup broth fish recommended
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 2 slices sandwich bread crust removed
Vatapá Culinary Spice Kit
- Annatto, turmeric, ginger, cumin, white pepper, bay leaves
- 1-2 tbsp peanuts ground
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 lime for juice
- 8 oz watercress
- Cut the bread into small pieces.
- In a BOWL, add the bread and the coconut milk.
- Let it soak for 15 minutes.
- Mash it with a fork.
- In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
- Fry the shrimp until brown on all sides.
- Take them out and set them aside.
- Fry the onions over medium heat until translucent.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, and Vatapá spices.
- Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk with the bread, salt to taste, and optionally peanuts.
- Cook about 15 minutes over medium-low heat to get a thick creamy sauce. Add some broth if necessary.
- Return the shrimp to reheat.
- Optionally, add cilantro and lime juice to taste.
- Serve with rice and optionally watercress or a fresh salad of your choice.
- Substitute the shrimp with fish filet (e.g. cod or snapper), cut into 1-inch pieces, or chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips. Return them with the coconut milk.
- Omit or substitute the shrimp with garbanzo beans.
- Add 1-2 jalapeno pepper and/or 4 small sweet peppers to the onions, cut into thin slices.