Monday, April 16, 2012

Encocado de Camaron (Shrimp Encocado or in Coconut Sauce)

One of my very favorite Ecuadorian dishes.

1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
2 big cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 tablespoons achiote oil
(You get this by heating up some canola oil in the pan at low temperature adding 1/2 teaspoon achiote seeds (annato seeds) that you can buy in the Hispanic aisle or Mexican stores. It is not hard to get). Once the oil is red, discard the seeds.

Cook the vegetables in the oil at medium temperature until translucent, stirring constantly. Be careful or the garlic will burn.

1 lb shrimp (I always use raw shrimp -frozen or fresh)

Peel the shrimp and make a stock with the shells, about 1/2 cup stock after boiling and discarding the shells.

Add the shrimp stock to the cooked vegetables, 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk (I buy the one from Thailand, I prefer Lite).

Cook the mixture on low for a few minutes (about 4-5) and then add the raw shrimp and 1/2-3/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon, black pepper and a pinch of oregano. Cook the shrimp at medium temperature uncovered for about 5-6 minutes turning them over once or twice.

Some people like to add a couple of tablespoons of water with a little bit of cornstarch (about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon) to thicken the sauce just a little bit. If you do that, cook it for a couple of extra minutes.

Add chopped fresh cilantro and more salt if needed.

Serve with hot rice.

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