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How to make tapado: the traditonal soup of the Caribbean

For the Garifuna people of the Caribbean, life is all about the ocean; so it makes perfect sense that their classic and favourite food is seafood inspired. The traditional soup known as Tapado is as rich and complex as the island loving culture. I couldn’t wait to taste it.

Basically, it’s a huge bowl of crustaceans, fish, and a few vegatables, seasoned with achiote and bound together with abundantly available coconut. It’s served with an extra side of fried fish and rice, as well as an industrial strength nut cracker for the tricky to eat shelled creatures. Tapado is so damn tasty I asked how to make it.

Basically you need 2 cups of fresh coconut juice as that adds to the depth of flavour, but making do with tinned coconut milk wouldn’t be a disaster, it would just make it slightly sweeter.

You will need: 1 small onion, 1 capsicum, 1 tomato,
1 plantain and some parsley. Depending on what seafood is available, you basically need a mix of flavours such as crab, prawns, snapper, mussels, and any other crustacean you can get your hungry hands on. As well as some salt, fresh ground pepper, a pinch of oregano, a pinch of dried achiote (to make the coconut a red colour), and some corn oil.

Do this: Chop up all the vegetables and herbs in to fine pieces and de-vein the prawns and/or shrimp.

Make it like this: Heat the corn oil in a large pan, add the onion and capsicum and saute for a bit. Add the coconut milk, herbs, salt and pepper then bring the liquid to the boil. Simmer on a low heat until it gets thick, then stir in all the seafood until it’s cooked through – which should take about ten minutes.

Peel and cut the plantain and tomato in to diced pieces and throw in to the pot. Simmer for another ten minutes and serve with a side of rice and an ice cold beer. Be prepared to get very messy and resort to animal like licking of fingers. Deeeeelicious!

Kris

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There are 2 Comments to "How to make tapado: the traditonal soup of the Caribbean"

  • cassie vincent says:

    Hi Ginny, I am salivating. I love you soooo much for this gorgeous recipe. How many times have you had it? Great for breakfast lunch and dinner washed down with a coldie!! Love you sista.xxxx

  • sporks says:

    I’ve only had it once sister, but it won’t be the last. It’s a bit expensive at almost $7 😀 We’ll make it together when I get back. Love. Kris x

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