Encocado is a traditional dish from the Pacific coast of Colombia. There are different versions of this dish throughout Latin America, every country adding its own types of seafood, spices and vegetables. In Colombia we make Encocado de Pescado (Fish in Coconut Sauce) Encocado de Camarones (Shrimp in Coconut Sauce) and this Encocado de Pescado y Camarón (Fish and Shrimp in Coconut Sauce).
Encocado de Pescado y Camarón (Fish and Shrimp in Coconut Sauce)
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 pound swordfish or any other firm fish cut in medium chunks
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 2 small tomatoes peeled and chopped
- 3 scallions finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground achiote
- 14 oz can of coconut milk
- ½ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix together half of the onion, half of the garlic and lime juice. Add the fish and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Heat the oil and add the rest of the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions and the rest of the garlic, cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the coconut milk, cumin and achiote to the tomato mixture, stir and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the fish, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the shrimp and cover partially and let simmer for about 10 minutes more or until the fish is soft and the shrimp is cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Add fresh cilantro and serve with rice on the side.
There are even different variations of this stew in Colombia, depending on the cook and area of the country. Traditionally, this Encocado is made with fish, shrimp, vegetables and spices, cooked in a sauce made with fresh coconut milk, but if you have a busy life like me, just use canned coconut milk, it will be delicious either way. I used swordfish this time, but any firm fish like halibut, cod, tilapia or sea bass would work well.
This Encocado de Pescado y Camarón has a rich and flavorful coconut sauce, shrimp and pieces of flaky, buttery white fish. I’m a huge fan of dishes with a combination of seafood and coconut milk. It's the perfect marriage!