Photo by: 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.

  • Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice, and 1 lime wedge)


  • none Stock:
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 none garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound fish bones
  • none Soup:
  • none Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 none garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 none serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato
  • 1 none (12-ounce) bottle beer
  • 1 none (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 none 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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 241none
  • Calories from fat: 17%
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4g
  • Protein: 18.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 32.1g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 28mg
  • Iron: 1.6mg
  • Sodium: 464mg
  • Calcium: 50mg

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Vatapa Recipe