How to Cook Tapou

How to Cook Tapou

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 10 mins + 1 hour (inactive)

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients needed to make Tapou:

  • 2 lb red snapper fillets
  • 12 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cored and minced
  • 2 green bananas, peeled and sliced into ¼’’  rounds
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and chopped into 1’’ cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 2’’ fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1’’ cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, deseeded and minced
  • 1 small cassava root, peeled and chopped into 1’’ cubes
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 5 tsp achiote paste
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Cooking instructions for Tapou:

  • Stuff the fish fillets into a large resealable plastic bag and pour in both kinds of juices.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp of ground cumin and a dash of seasonings into the bag, seal and flip it over a several times to coat well with the marinate.
  • Refrigerate the fish for an hour to marinate.
  • Drizzle coconut oil in a large saucepan and heat it over moderately-high flame.
  • Throw in the garlic, bell pepper, onion as well as ginger into the saucepan and stir fry for about 10 minutes, until they soften.
  • Plop in the tomato wedges and sprinkle sugar, oregano and rest of the ground cumin into it.
  • Stir them all together until well combined and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, until they are caramelized.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and whisk in the achiote paste until it blends into the mixture.
  • Bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer.
  • Drop in the cassava as well as green bananas and continue to cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through.
  • Stir in the plantain and potatoes before cooking the stew further for 10 more minutes.
  • Toss the shrimps into it and simmer for a couple of minutes or until their flesh turn opaque.
  • Fold in the cilantro until they are distributed evenly throughout the stew and keep warm over lowest flame.
  • Drizzle canola oil in a large skillet and heat it over moderate heat.
  • Spread the flour over large plate.
  • Drain the fish out of the marinade and place it on the plate with flour.
  • Flip them over to coat well with the flour and place on the skillet to fry for about 12 minutes, turning them over once, until they turn crisp and are properly cooked.
  • Drain them out onto paper towels to soak away excess oil and place one fillet into each serving bowl.
  • Ladle the stew over them and serve hot alongside lime wedges.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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