Vatapa - Fish Soup with Coconut Milk Recipe

Vatapa - Fish Soup with Coconut Milk


A classic Brazilian soup, this dish offers a harmonious balance of tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors. For an added traditional touch, try sprinkling the soup with chopped peanuts just before serving. If you can't find a Brazilian lager, Mexican beer such as Dos Equis works well in its place.


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound fish bones


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 pound grouper or other firm white fish
  • fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups hot cooked basmati rice
  • 6 lime wedges

How to make Vatapa - Fish Soup with Coconut Milk

  1. To prepare the stock, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large Dutch oven;
  2. bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Drain stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

  4. To prepare soup, wipe pan dry with a paper towel.

  5. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  6. Add 1 cup onion, sugar, and salt; sauté 3 minutes.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon ginger, 3 garlic cloves, and chile; sauté 30 seconds.
  8. Stir in stock, tomato, and beer; bring to a boil.
  9. Cook until reduced to 6 cups (about 15 minutes). Stir in coconut milk; bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add fish; cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.
  12. Stir in cilantro and juice. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

six servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice, and 1 lime wedge)

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