Margarita's International Recipes

A Bahian Menu


Ground Shrimp Paste

Vatapá is one of the most traditional dishes of Bahia. It's somewhere between a sauce and a paste and it's used to accompany and enhance dishes such as acaraje, fried bean patties, and xinxim, a chicken and shrimp stew. It can be made from a variety of ingredients, though palm oil is an essential component of vatapá, but ground shrimp vatapá is probably the most common kind. There are probably as many recipes as there are cooks, I found this one on the web and chose it because it was simple and straightforward.

My guests were very fond of it. They particularly like how it tasted on top of the shrimp from the xinxim. The recipe below made about twice as much vatapá as was eaten that evening by four people, so you may want to halve it - one of my guests was happy to take home the leftovers, however.





Combine onions, garlic, ginger, peanuts, cashews, ground shrimp and cilantro leaves in a food processor and process into a coarse paste.

  • Heat olive and palm oils and add the paste. Cook for 15 minutes in low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes and serve.

    Adapted from Beth's recipe at Phillip Wagner's website

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