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Biche de Pescado - Ecuadorian Fish Stew

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Biche de Pescado - Ecuadorian Fish Stew

Biche de Pescado

Marian Blazes
Biche de pescado is a fantastic Andean stew, chock full of traditional ingredients like yuca, corn, peanuts, and plantain. It may sound complicated and exotic, but it is simple to make and appeals to most everyone. The fish flavor is mild and complements the peanut broth and sweet plantains perfectly. You can find frozen yuca (peeled and stringy fibers removed) in stores that sell Latin products. Choose a very black, ripe plantain for this soup. Many different kinds of fish work well in this stew. Buy the whole fish if possible - the tail, head, and bones can be used to flavor the broth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole medium sized fish, or about a pound of fish filets (reserve any bones or other pieces for broth)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 packet SazonGoya with achiote, (or 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 cup cocktail peanuts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cubed yuca (1-inch cubes, peeled and fibers removed)
  • 1 ear of corn, sliced crosswise into 8 "disks"
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and sliced crosswise into 8-10 pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and/or parsley

Preparation:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toast peanuts in oven until lightly toasted. Set aside.
     
  2. Clean and skin the fish, and set fillets aside. Reserve bones, head, and tail for the stock.
     
  3. Sauté half of the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the SazonGoya (or cumin, garlic salt, and paprika) until onion is soft and golden brown. Add the fish parts (not the fillets) and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
     
  4. Strain broth through a fine sieve and reserve.
     
  5. Add the toasted peanuts to a blender with the milk and blend until very smooth. Set aside.
     
  6. Sauté remaining onion, garlic, and green onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the peanut/onion mixture and the reserved broth to the onions. Add the yuca and corn and simmer until the yuca is tender when pierced with a fork, about 30-45 minutes, adding 1/2 cup water from time to time if soup seems too thick.
     
  7. Chop the fish filets into bite-size pieces. Add the fish and plantain to the soup. Simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped cilantro and parsley, reserving some for garnish if desired. Serve warm.

 

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