Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bobo De Camarao (Shrimp in Creamy Cassava)


  • 1.5 lbs of fresh shrimp cleaned and with no shells (I used about 17 jumbo and 20 medium but it's better with larger shrimp)
  • 1 large can of organic chopped tomato
  • 1 large red onion (chopped)
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 2 lbs of yuca/Cassava (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (some cans are 14oz)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • Shrimp stock (two cups of water and all the shrimp shells and heads boiled)
  • Cilantro 2 big handfuls
  • Hot sauce
  • Red Pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Palm Oil OPTIONAL (I did not use it but it's commonly used in Brazil when cooking this dish)
Preparation yield 4-5 servings
  1. Place yuca in pressure cooker and fill up with water until the yuca is covered (about 2/3 of the way) and add a good amount of salt to the water.  Once the pressure cooker starts letting out steam cook it for 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove and drain.
  2. While pressure cooker is going heat the olive oil in a large tall frying pan.
  3. Add the onions and the garlic
  4. Once the onions become translucent add the shrimp and cook until they become somewhat pink (Do not overcook) and remove them to a separate plate
  5. Add the tomatoes, the shrimp stock, half the cilantro, salt and pepper, hot sauce (to taste), and red pepper flakes to the onions and garlic. Let it cook down for about 4 minutes
  6. Meanwhile place the drained yuca in a large bowl and add the coconut milk.  Using a hand mixer mash it all together.  If you don't have a hand mixer use a manual masher.  You want it nice and smooth but it's ok if it's a little chuncky
  7. Add the yuca coconut mash to the tomato sauce in parts. Mix well each time and check the consistency. A good consistency is probably somewhere between a creamy soup and mashed potatoes. 
  8. Add the heavy cream and mix well
  9. Add the separated shrimp to the pan and mix well but carefully not to damage your shrimp
  10. Add the rest of the cilantro
  11. OPTIONAL add 2 tbsps of palm oil/paste
  12. Heat for a couple more minutes and serve with white rice
I've been wanting to make bobo de camarao for a while now and Friday was the perfect day.  I got a great discount on fresh jumbo shrimp because it was Good Friday.  Definitely use fresh shrimp.  The taste is much stronger!  I chose not to use fresh yuca because frankly I haven't noticed a big difference between that and the frozen Goya one.  I used organic tomatoes for a stronger taste too.  One of the main ingredients in this Brazilian dish is palm oil (oleo de dende in Portuguese).  I thought about using it but once I researched about it I found out it's probably the most unhealthy oil there is!  It's completely saturated fat!  If you do want to use it you can find it in Brazilian shops, Caribbean shops, and African shops.  Use 2 tbsp in the last step before adding the cilantro.  This is one of my favorite dishes to eat!  You can make it without a pressure cooker but it will take about 30 to 40 minutes to cook the yuca in boiling water.  The consistency I like is somewhere between a creamy soup and mashed potatoes.  Adding the yuca to the sauce in parts will allow you to control the consistency you want. Try making it and let me know how it turns out! If you have questions don't hesitate to ask! Remember to always season your food! 

Thank you for sharing :)