Fish Friday, the Brazilian way: cod, prawns, chayote stew

cod, prawns, chayote stew

A simple, light and delicious recipe. The chayote with shrimp is a typical Brazilian recipe. It is one of the few Brazilian dishes that did not receive the interference of the Indians, they gave preference to the barbecue shrimp and rarely mixed the crustacean or fish with something else that was not cassava flour.

This stew was consumed in the centre of Rio de Janeiro in the late nineteenth century, with the influence of stews of Portuguese cuisine. The inclusion of chayote is credited to the cooks  at Confectioneria Colombo,  a cafe in Rio de Janeiro city centre, that over a century is one of the most respected establishment in the country. Today, they are the cultural and artistic heritage of the city. According to Brazilian chef and teacher Chris Leite, a survey to rescue the culinary history of this establishment says this stew with chayote was in the menus in 1894. In Brazil, the dominant religion is Catholic and fish is traditionally served on the Friday before Easter Sunday. The addition of cod makes this recipe fuss-free, substantial and scrumptious family meal for Good Friday.

Fish Friday the Brazilian way: cod, prawns, chayote stew

Fish dishes are not as hard to cook as you might think. Nowadays, supermarkets and fishmongers prepare the fish to order, so you don’t have to. In the UK, one in five household admits they avoid fish altogether because they don’t know how to cook it. According to Asda  (UK supermarket) : ‘Although the majority of families eat fish once a week, a huge 75% of people are still falling beneath the recommended weekly fish quota outlined by the UK industry authority on seafood, seafish, of two portions a week’.   Here is an easy, colourful recipe to cheer up any table. Fish and Seafood are recognised as the best natural source of Omega 3.
Happy and healthy start to Easter! 


Fish Friday, the Brazilian way: cod, prawns, chayote stew recipe

Serves: 4

400g of king prawn
Juice of 1 lime + peel
1/4 cup (tea) olive oil
1 large red onion chopped
2 or 3  cloves of garlic, minced
350g of peeled and diced (1cmx1cm) chayote (about 2 medium)
3 large tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 cup of shrimp or fish broth (200ml)
½ cup (tea) of coconut milk (100ml)
handful of chopped parsley
handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
Salt and pepper to taste
500g of line caught cod
chillies, optional

1)clean and sprinkle the cod with salt. reserve for about 2-3 hours.
2)Season the shrimp with lime juice, lots of coriander, basil and flat parsley, salt and black pepper to taste. Reserve. Pre-heat the oven 200C (Fan)
3)In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic and diced chayote.
3)Add the tomatoes, the shrimp/fish broth, coconut milk, pepper and salt to taste
4)Mix and simmer for about 15 minutes over medium heat or until the chayote is tender.
5) while the vegetables cook, wash off  the cod, patch dry it and  pan-fry in a skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter till brown. Finish cooking the oven for 5 minutes.
6)Add the seasoned shrimp to the vegetables, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes and sprinkle the parsley and coriander. Top with the roasted cod and slices of red onion,  lime shavings (peel) and chillies (optional).

Serving suggestion: white plain rice
When buying  fish go for fresh,  pollution-free, eco-friendly, and highly sustainable sources.

Thanks to Asda for sending all ingredients, except the chayote, which I bought at my local market. For more seasonal cooking inspirations check out their site: Easter

cod, prawns, chayote stew