Makes: Serves 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus preparations made in advance
Level: Easy/ Medium
- 1 KG OF SALTED PAICHE
- 1.5 KG OF MANIOC, WITH THE CENTRAL FIBRE REMOVED
- 2 POTATOES
- CORN OIL, FOR FRYING
- ½ ONION, CUT INTO STRIPS
- 3 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
- 3 TABLESPOONS OF OLIVE OIL
- 3 PEELED AND DESEEDED TOMATOES, CUT INTO STRIPS
- ¾ TEACUP OF CHOPPED GREEN OLIVES
- ½ BUNCH OF PARSLEY, CHOPPED
- 2 TABLESPOONS OF BUTTER
- 190 ML OF MILK
- A 190 ML GLASS FILLED WITH COARSE MANIOC FLOUR
OR FARINHA D’ÁGUA
- 2 PLANTAINS, CUT INTO THIN, VERTICAL SLICES.
- 3 HARD-BOILED EGGS, SLICED
- SALT AND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
Desalt the paiche by soaking it in ice cold water for 20 hours, changing the water three or four times. Cover the manioc with salted water and simmer; turn off the heat when it’s falling apart. Process it in a blender along with the cooking water and set aside. Grate the potato and soak in water with ice for 30 minutes. Fry in hot oil, until slightly golden. Wait for it to cool and store in a closed container, so they won’t wilt. Cut the fish into flakes. Braise the onions and half the garlic in olive oil. Add the paiche, braise lightly and add the tomatoes and olives. When the fish is cooked through, adjust the salt and put in the parsley. Braise the remaining garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the manioc cream, the milk, salt, and black pepper; wait until it’s hot. Spread a thin layer of manioc cream on a baking dish. Cover with the paiche and spread a new layer of cream. Sprinkle the manioc flour. Grill the plantain in 1 tablespoon of butter and set it on top of the manioc flour. Garnish with the eggs, shoestring potatoes, and serve.
IN DETAIL: Also known as “amazonian cod”, the paiche is one of the largest fresh water fishes, reaching up to 2 meters in length. It is used in countless recipes, both in the Northern and Mid-Western regions. In this dish, particularly common in Amazonas during the June celebrations, the paiche arrives at the table all dressed up.