Myths and facts of Rio

They say you never truly know a place till you actually go there yourself and experience it first hand. People warn you, advise you, paint a picture of a destination for you. But everyone has their own lens of looking at things so where one finds danger, another may feel safe, where one sees chaos, another may find beauty. Continue reading “Myths and facts of Rio”

Ipanema Hippie Market

Last Sunday, I was at the Ipanema Hippie Market in Rio de Janeiro. The Hippie Fair has been a tradition since 1968 and one of the must-see attractions in Rio. You will also find many locals strolling through the Praca Gal (main square in Ipanema), shopping for gifts and everyday use items at the artisanal fair. Continue reading “Ipanema Hippie Market”

Types of Brazilian restaurants

Rio de Janeiro has taken concept restaurants to a whole new level. Outside of Brazil, we associate Brazilian cuisine with all you can eat steakhouses but that is only one of the offering you find here in Rio. In fact, the locals love to eat out and cannot afford the high end steakhouses every day. Neither is it healthy for you. There are actually many types of foods and restaurants in Rio, each differentiated by price, quality and dishes. Some of these include… Continue reading “Types of Brazilian restaurants”

Brazilian shrimp soup

This past weekend I taught a cooking class on how to make hearty soups and salads that can be eaten as full meals. They are nutritious, filling and make wholesome entrees. Out of all the dishes we prepared, the class unanimously voted for the Brazilian shrimp soup as the most delicious and their favorite. I have not been to Brazil yet, but have been making this recipe for over 10 years. It’s something I found (don’t even remember where) or I could give credit to it’s original creator.

If you want to make it healthier, use brown rice instead of white and lite coconut milk instead of regular. I don’t recommend substituting the coconut milk as it imparts a nice sweet flavor to the soup. To further enhance the flavor, use shrimp stock instead of water. Boil raw shrimp with shells in water for 10 minutes or until cooked. Remove shrimp, peel and keep aside. Strain and reserve stock to use in recipe.

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 8 oz. large cooked shrimp
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 6oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large shallow pot. Add bell pepper & onion to the pot & cook till tender (about 10 minutes) over medium heat. Add the tomato puree & cook for 2 more minutes. Then, add the next 3 ingredients & mix well. Add water & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, mix well to make sauce even in color. Add salt & pepper according to taste. Let the sauce heat thoroughly. Slice each shrimp into half, lengthwise, and drop in the sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.