May 102011
In a recent episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain was thoroughly enjoying Vatapá, a classic Brazilian dish with African origins.  Vatapá is a thick pureed seafood stew with coconut, jalapeño and peanuts and then a few variable ingredients such as breadcrumb or cornmeal, fresh lime, cilantro, tomatoes and ginger. 
How could I not make this?
Little did I know how easy it would be to make.  For Mother’s day I had gotten a Vitamix blender so this would be the perfect recipe to try it out!
I whipped some up and what a treat! Salty briny seafood, hint of sweet coconut and spicy kick from jalapeño was such a welcome break from the norm.  I loved the creamy texture akin to polenta and the big chunks of fish and shrimp.
Originally I was going to simply use the shrimp but my dad had gone fishing and brought home some fabulous white flounder fillets (and a cobia which I am SO excited about. Recipe to follow.)  My husband and I loved the tender fish so much we even went back for seconds.
Next time I will try adding 1 tablespoon of ginger and 1 to 2 cups of chopped tomatoes.  I can’t wait to make it again soon.
Brazilian Vatapá
Gluten, Egg, Dairy, Sugar Free
Makes 7 cups
2 Tbsp coconut oil or EVOO
2 onion, chopped
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, divided
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric (for color. Palm oil is traditionally used.)
1/3 cup peanut butter or cashew butter
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1 1/2 to 2 cups veggie stock or water
1 cup cornmeal
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 14.5 oz can light coconut milk
1/2 pound white fish fillets such as flounder or cod
A few dashes of hot sauce
Handful fresh cilantro
1.      Place the onion, 1/2 cup shrimp, garlic, turmeric, jalapeño, nut butter, lime zest, cornmeal and broth in food processor or blender and puree well. 
2.      Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion-shrimp mixture and sauté until cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes adding more broth as needed.
3.      Pour in coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes.
4.      Stir in the remaining shrimp, fish and lime juice and simmer another 5-6 minutes, or until seafood is almost cooked through.
5.      Remove from heat, stir in cilantro.


Nutrition Facts
7 Cups
Amount Per Cup
Calories 291.5
Total Fat 12.2 g
Saturated Fat 5.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 120.5 mg
Sodium 268.1 mg
Potassium 312.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 25.0 g
Vitamin A 4.1 %
Vitamin B-12 26.1 %
Vitamin B-6 11.6 %
Vitamin C 6.9 %
Vitamin D 24.6 %
Vitamin E 6.6 %
Calcium 5.1 %
Copper 11.5 %
Folate 3.3 %
Iron 14.2 %
Magnesium 16.7 %
Manganese 8.2 %
Niacin 15.3 %
Pantothenic Acid     4.8 %
Phosphorus     27.4 %
Riboflavin 6.0 %
Selenium 66.2 %
Thiamin 8.1 %
Zinc 8.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
 Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.