Photo by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN
Tapado Costeño: Honduran Seafood and Coconut Milk SoupBy: Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 6-8 servings
Tapado Costeño Hondureño is so representative of the Honduran cuisine. This rich soup uses a variety of seafood, more preferably, conch, but any white fish will do.
Freshly pressed coconut milk gives the best flavor. Canned coconut milk is a good substitute, especially given that fresh coconut milk may be hard to find.
- 1 medium white onion finely diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper finely diced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil divided
- 32 fl oz seafood stock
- 32 fl oz water
- 2 13.5 fl oz cans low-fat coconut milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 3-4 culantro leaves (AKA Recaito or Recao in Latino groceries). A small bunch of cilantro can be used as a substitute
- 1 tablespoon annatto paste (AKA achiote in Latino groceries)
- 2 green bananas peeled and cut into pieces 1-1½ inches each
- 1 very ripe, yellow plantain peeled and cut into pieces
- 1-1/2 pounds fresh cassava root (yuca) peeled and cut into medium pieces
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into big pieces
- 3-4 medium carrots peeled and cut into big pieces
- 4-6 fish fillets
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp cleaned
- flour (enough to coat fish fillets)
- salt and pepper
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- In a large pot, heat the oil and soften onion and green peppers for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add seafood stock, water and coconut milk. (DO NOT COVER THE POT!)
- Season with all herbs and spices, salt and pepper, and let cook under medium heat for about 25 minutes
- Dissolve annatto paste with some of the cooking liquid to make it more fluid and add to soup.
- Add all root vegetables.
- While vegetables are cooking, season shrimp and fish.
- Coat fish with flour, shake off excess flour and sear on a hot skillet with the remaining oil. Cook for about 2 minutes per side. Turn fish once with a spatula. Do not overcook the fish. Reserve on paper towels.
- When all veggies are tender, add cooked fish and shrimp to soup and cook for about 1 extra minute. Remove from heat (the heat in the soup will the cook shrimp all the way through).
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges and hot sauce.
Note: A variety of seafood can be used. Also, add more liquid (stock or water) if broth becomes too thick due to the starch in vegetables. Do not add tomatoes, as the acidity in the tomatoes and hot temperature may curdle the coconut milk.