Asides many things that the South American state of Brazil is known for- beautiful women, lovely beaches and tourist sites, great music, its cuisine also stand out as one outstanding aspect to look forward to ahead of the Rio Olympics 2016. Brazilian cuisine lined with relics of European, African and Amerindian spices, has turned out to be highly sought after by people from all around the world.
Some typical dishes considered the country’s national and regional foods include vatapa, moqueca, polenta and acaraje. One striking item predominant on Brazilian dishes is the PRAWN. This amazing looking seafood has made its mark in a good number of dishes from this part of the world, together with different mixtures that give it purpose in a variety of ways.
One of such ways is evident in the Bahia-style Moqueca Prawn Stew which is tactically mixed with coconut syrup. One can only come to imagine the “yumminess” of this very delicious blend made of Brazilian fingers.
Moqueca is without a doubt, one of the most iconic Brazilian dishes. While it is made in several different states, the most well-known version comes from the state of Bahia, where it has been made for hundreds of years. This traditional fish stew is typically prepared in beautiful, rustic clay pots and features the characteristic ingredients of the northeast: dendê palm oil and coconut milk. The type of fish and seafood used varies according to personal preference and region.
The Bahian fish stew is served with rice, along with a thick porridge or congee called “pirão“, which is made by thickening part of the sauce with manioc flour.
It’s quick to make and uses simple ingredients which include: 450g large, raw, peeled prawn (There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are best for this meal), 75ml lime juice, 3 garlic clove(finely chopped), 3 tablespoons coconut oil, 4 spring onion, 1 onion sliced into half-moons. 1 red pepper (thinly sliced), 1 tsp chilli flakes, 2 tsp paprika, 3 plum tomato (deseeded and chopped). 400ml coconut milk, 2 tbsp chopped coriander, steamed rice, to serve.
- Place the prawns in a bowl with 2 tbsp of the lime juice, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of the chopped garlic. Chill for 1 hr.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the spring onion and onion and fry for 5 mins, then add the red pepper, chilli flakes, paprika and remaining garlic.
- Pour in the tomatoes, coconut milk and a little salt. Bring to a simmer and let reduce for 10 mins. Add the prawns, all the marinade and remaining lime juice. Gently simmer until the prawns turn white, about 3 mins. Serve with the fresh coriander and rice.
You don’t want to miss this wonderful delicacy on your next trip to Brazil or even in your homes to break the monotony of regular stews. Try the Bahia-style Moqueca Praw stew for a whole new experience of seafood stew.