Vatapa Recipe
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
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 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice, and 1 lime wedge)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 241
Caloriesfromfat 17 %
Fat 4.5 g
Satfat 3.5 g
Monofat 0.2 g
Polyfat 0.4 g
Protein 18.4 g
Carbohydrate 32.1 g
Fiber 1.8 g
Cholesterol 28 mg
Iron 1.6 mg
Sodium 464 mg
Calcium 50 mg


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


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

To prepare soup, wipe pan dry with a paper towel. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, sugar, and salt; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon ginger, 3 garlic cloves, and chile; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in stock, tomato, and beer; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 6 cups (about 15 minutes). Stir in coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 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. Stir in cilantro and juice. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Julianna Grimes Bottcher,

Cooking Light

June 2007
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