Living where we do, everyone’s bound to break bread with Brazilians at some point in time. I have quite a few friends from Brazil, most met through fishing and surfing, and it’s great sharing stories (and food) with people from such a different background and culture. The country of Brazil has an interesting history and, when it comes to food, there’s obviously a lot of Portuguese influence… but also African. From a culinary standpoint, that just means more flavor. With Bahia located in the northeast part of Brazil, there’s no shortage of coconuts, and this is the backbone of a dish I’ve been wanting to share for quite a while now.
Making this dish I was reminded how much food is globally interconnected; it’s almost a hot version of Poisson Cru, a cold ceviche-esque Tahitian masterpiece. That’s a recipe I promise to share with you once the weather changes and you’re looking for something cool when the weather gets hot. But for now, this is something I’m hoping you’ll try to tackle and really push your cooking skill level. Honestly, the only thing that may be overwhelming is the prep itself. Beyond that, you’re in the clear. Unlike the speed demanded from last week’s fried rice, this recipe allows you to just chill out and add ingredients a little bit at a time. So, as long as you prep your ingredients properly, this recipe is pretty low maintenance. It’s rich. It’s salty. It’s sour. It’s floral. It’s different. It’s really, really good.
Next Recipe: Shrimp and Crab Kimchi Fried Rice
Ingredients vary, but the staples of Bahian Seafood Stew are seafood, coconut, chili, lime, onion, ginger, lemon grass, garlic and tomatoes. Everything else can be added, subtracted and/or substituted. In this case, one of my fish mongers had some amazing Baja grouper that was as good as it gets, along with some beautiful shrimp. I’d honestly prefer a shell and head-on shrimp for this dish for added flavor, but it turned out stellar anyway, so no harm done (and it was easier to eat).
I doubt you need a reminder, but rockfish season just opened in our region. This is prime time for this recipe. You don’t need Baja grouper and shrimp to make it happen. Vermillion and Sheepshead. Lingcod and Treefish. Chucklehead and Baberpole. It doesn’t matter. It all works. These flavors are so pungent and intense that you can use any mild seafood to absorb it all and make it happen. I want to hear your version!
Recipe: Bahian Seafood Stew