There are just about as many versions of vatapa as there are cooks who prepare it. Just as there are many versions, vatapa can be made with a variety ingredients that can include meat, such as pork, as well as seafood. My version is somewhat lighter than the traditional ones. I’ve eliminated the dende oil, which is a palm oil and can be difficult to find, and substituted coconut milk for the more traditional coconut cream.
There’s nothing like a little wasabi to perk up ceviche. Just make sure you add it at the last minute, right before serving. You can eat the ceviche from tall glasses, or pile it on a salad of spinach, green onions, and tomatoes, topped with wasabi mayonnaise. A crusty slice of toasted garlic bread goes well with this.
Here is a tasty option for cooking shark, or, for that matter, any firm fish that is big enough to have steaks cut from it, such as swordfish. We prefer to grill over hardwood rather than charcoal briquets, and two of the best woods to use are pecan and hickory. Mesquite can be substituted, but it imparts a strong flavor to the fish. Dave collected this recipe in Trinidad, where a dish called Shark and Bake is a specialty. Serve with conch chowder, curried cauliflower, potatoes, peas, and a fruit chutney.