If you have a Brazilian friend or have been to Brazil, you’ve certainly heard that almost every Brazilian loves meat and will never decline an invitation for a churrasco.
What you probably don’t know is they also love seafood, and one of the most typical dishes down there — Bobó de Camarão — is made of shrimp (camarão, in Portuguese).
I never liked the texture of shrimp. I remember receiving those looks when someone mentioned Bobó de Camarão for dinner and I came up with a “but-I-don’t-like-shrimp” answer. I was constantly joked for being Brazilian and not eating it. Now, I do.
My boyfriend, whose culinary skills are admirable, has just created a vegan Bobó de Camarão. “When you stopped eating meat, I thought of adjusting a creamy Brazilian stew to vegan. Bobó doesn’t require meat to taste good,” he said. Oh, wow! Now that I’m going vegan, I can start eating Bobó.
Born in Canada, he lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil years ago. That’s when he tried this dish for the first time. “It was freaking awesome,” he says. He enjoyed it so much that he asked the cook for the recipe. The bad news is he didn’t get it.
Upset, he immediately went online and found many variations of that dish. They all looked different. He says he remembers cooking, at least, three different recipes in his attempt to get the same flavour.
At the time, he was helping at a hostel and cooked for some guests. “Everyone who tried it liked it, but I was disappointed,” he says. “I was never able to recreate what that lady had done. That dish will be a sacred moment in my life forever.”
Back to Canada, he cooked Bobó de Camarão for his parents. “They loved it. It was the first time I impressed them with a unique dish,” he says. “Bobó is exotic.”
Three years later, he became vegetarian, so he cut off Bobó de Camarão from his diet. Well, until I came into his life to inspire this vegan recipe that he — instead of what that lady did — agreed to share with you. If you try to make it, can you come back to share your impressions? Enjoy it!
Bobó do Gringo
- 1 Large piece (3 cups) of yucca root, also known as cassava
- 2 Large potatoes
- 6 Tomatoes
- 2 Large carrots
- 2 Cups of mushrooms
- 1/2 Head of cauliflower
- 2 Pieces of celery
- 5 Cloves of garlic
- 1 Large white onion
- 1 Cup of cilantro
- 1-2 Cups of almond milk
- Olive oil
- Greek seasoning
- Peel the yucca root, cut it in cubes and boil it.
- Peel the potatoes, cut them in cubes, sprinkle olive oil and greek seasoning, and bake them until crispy.
- Set them aside.
- Cover the bottom of a large cast-iron pot with oil and put it on medium heat.
- Add the garlic and heat it until it’s golden.
- While the garlic is heating, dice the onion and the tomatoes, and add them to the pot. First, the onions. Then, the tomatoes.
- Cook this mixture for 5-10 minutes in medium heat. While preparing the sauce, land the yucca root in a vitamix (or blender that can puree).
- Add 1-2 cups of almond milk to the yucca root and blend it.
- Add this mixture to the tomato sauce.
- Now, add to the pot the potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms and cauliflower.
- Cook them for 5-10 minutes.
- Add cilantro.
If you wish, top up your meal with a salad
Serves: 1 person (seriously!), but you can share it with anyone who’s lucky.
Photos credit: Glauce Fleury