Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Brazilian Shrimp Stew

Hands down, it is my favorite shrimp recipe! Fantastic flavor, rich taste and vibrant color won't let you forget this recipe. Super-easy to make. Ready? Start.. Go!

Blog's Category: International, Seafood


I knew I'm partial to a tropical cuisine, to all those fruity savory dishes. How come, so far, I didn't make this recipe, which has all what I adore - shrimp, coconut, cilantro, lemon, garlic? Anyway. I've made it and I love it - Brazilian Coconut Shrimp stew. 

What is it?

It is shrimp, quickly marinated in garlic and lemon juice, and cooked briefly in a very flavorful sauce. Sauce made of bell pepper, onion, crushed tomatoes and canned coconut milk. All seasoned with fresh cilantro and optional cayenne pepper for those like me ;) Some like it hotter, right?

Taste Description

Oh, it tastes like haven. I refuse to describe - taste buds better than a thousand words ;)

How to Serve

It is great right from a stove, as well as reheated next day. I really liked it with a simple toasted piece of baguette. Traditionally it is served with a plain rice. I think, it would be great with mashed potato or buttered pasta as a side, as well.

Side Notes

If you don't like coconut milk, you can easily omit it, adding to a sauce a cup or two of plain water instead. Also, add some sugar, about 1 tablespoon, to neutralize tomato acidity. You will end up with a great shrimp in a pungent and refreshing tomato gravy. I cooked this way for my daughter, who has some sort of coconut intolerance. She liked her shrimp a lot!

Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Stew

For about 6 servings:
  • 40-50 raw shrimp, de-veined and peeled 
  • 1/2+ tsp  salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 or whole can of coconut milk (depending how much you like coconut)
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tbs palm kernel oil (absolutely optional)

- First, mix shrimp with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for about 20 minutes while you do chop-chop for your vegetables.

- In a large pan, heat olive oil and cook onion and bell pepper on a medium high, just until they soften. 

- Add crushed tomatoes and half of cilantro and cook, stirring, until it is thick and paste-like, about 10-15 minutes.

- Add coconut milk, bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are not translucent anymore, for about 7 minutes. Take off heat.

- Add some salt, cayenne pepper, palm oil (if using) and remaining cilantro. And enjoy!



You can use any type of bell pepper. Yellow is my favorite.

Cook crushed tomatoes, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until they become thick. 

I forgot to add coconut milk first.. so added shrimp and coconut milk all at the same time. No big deal.  Although it is better to add coconut milk first and bring it to a boil. Then to add shrimp. It will ensure shrimp won't overcook.

Traditional Brazilian recipe calls for red palm oil added at the end. It happened I have it, bought recently at Mustard Seed whole food market. Although I dropped just a pinch of it to my stew to see (and taste) how it is and decided not to bother with it just because my stew already had enough olive oil in it. Besides, this kind of palm oil does not appear to be healthy after all..

Palm kernel oil. 80% saturated fat. Well, well, well... I decided not to use it.

I dropped a tiny amount just to see.. It has the beautiful hot yellow color color, like a turmeric, just better :) 

Drooling over it :)

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