Recipe: Brazilian Shrimp Stew: Vatapá


This is incredible. It's unlike any other dish we've ever cooked. A vibrant thick stew with it's roots in African cuisine it's now a favourite in the north east of Brazil. A creamy and nutty flavour with a slight kick from chilli, tang from the lime and a hearty shrimpy taste. Complete with our twist of pan fried prawns and seabass it's fit for anyone and everyone to enjoy.


  • 50 g dried shrimp
  • 1 shot palm oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 50 g cashew nuts
  • 50 g shelled peanuts
  • 2 slices stale bread
blend shrimp

Step 1

Blend Shrimp

Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain and blend them to a paste in a small food processor.

peel and fry ingredients

Step 2

Peel And Fry Ingredients

Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic, then deseed and chop the chilli. Fry all of these in a deep saucepan with a shot of oil for 5 minutes until softened.

blitz breadcrumbs

Step 3

Blitz Breadcrumbs

Blitz the bread up into breadcrumbs.

add ingredients to pan

Step 4

Add Ingredients To Pan

Tip in both nuts, the shrimp paste, coconut milk, breadcrumbs and 500ml of water. Heat to a simmer and bubble for 30 minutes.

blend sauce

Step 5

Blend Sauce

Blend the sauce to a smooth but thick stew.

fry seabass

Step 6

Fry Seabass

Trim the seabass to neat portions, keeping the skin on and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry in palm oil until the seabass skin is golden then turn them over and squeeze over a little lime juice.


Step 7


Fry the prawns alongside the fish for a minute before serving with the stew and seabass. Squeeze over more lime juice, garnish with freshly picked coriander leaves, sliced red chilli and ample steaming rice beside. Serves 4

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