This recipe comes from the state of Bahia, in the north of Brazil, and is a real favourite among locals. It’s super easy to prepare and simply irresistible.
Bobó is essentially moqueca, a traditional Brazilian fish stew, but made with cassava. The key is to get the moqueca consistency right, then you are guaranteed a creamy and velvety texture.
Ingredients (for 2 to 3 people)
500g of fresh medium-sized shrimp, complete with shell and head
1 chopped onion
2 chopped tomatoes
1 chopped red pepper
3 tablespoons of dendê palm oil (2 for the moqueca and 1 for sauteing the shrimp)
2 spoons of olive oil
15g of chopped cilantro
2 crushed garlic cloves
400ml of coconut milk
100g of cassava
The water from boiling the cassava
Boil the peeled cassava with a little salt until soft. Dice into pieces for a faster cooking time.
Deshell and clean the shrimp and, using a toothpick, remove the intestine.
Run the shells and head under water and let dry. Remove the shrimp eyes.
Meanwhile, season the shrimp with crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and black pepper.
Place the shells and heads in a pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let it brown for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, peppers and tomatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, salt, black pepper and coconut milk. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the palm oil and cook for another 2 minutes. Beat the moqueca in a blender with 1 cup of the cooking water from the cassava. Strain.
Now beat the broth with the cooked cassava. Add a little of the cooking water to help reach a creamy texture. Continue to blend until you achieve a velvety consistency.
Return the now creamy bobó to a pan and stir constantly under a low heat until it comes to a boil. Turn off the heat.
In a non-stick pan, quickly sauté the shrimp with a spoonful of palm oil. Add a spoon of water and cover. Cook for 2 minutes. Place the shrimp inside the bobó. Serve on a platter and garnish with more shrimp. Whip up some rice and there you have it: Bahia on a plate! Enjoy!