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Caribbean-Style Seafood Stew

Caribbean-Style Seafood Stew
Photo by Scott Suchmanand food styling by Marie Ostroskyfor The Washington Post


Bright with lime, fragrant with thyme, and spicy with Scotch bonnet pepper, this colorful, healthful seafood stew, which comes together fast enough to make it weeknight-friendly, is brimming with Caribbean flavor. The amount of chile gives the stew a medium-spicy heat that’s prominent but not overwhelming – feel free to use more or less to taste (a little goes a long way), or substitute a milder chile, such as jalapeño.


Caribbean-Style Seafood Stew



2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola, grapeseed or avocado oil
1 medium yellow onion (about 8 ounces), diced
1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper (about 8 ounces), diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices, or 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes with juices
1 cup seafood stock or water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1 1/2 pounds skin-on or skinless red snapper, or skinless mahi mahi or other white fish fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces large shrimp (about 12 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked rice, for serving (optional)



In a large Dutch oven or a large, deep skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, Scotch bonnet or habanero and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat but have not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes, seafood stock or water and the lime juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit and the flavors are melded, about 10 minutes. (If not planning to eat right away, you can let the stew cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until needed.)

Gently stir in the fish and shrimp, raise the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring gently occasionally, until the seafood is just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and lime juice, if desired. Divide the stew among bowls, garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice, if desired.


Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1 1/4 cups

Per Serving: Calories 354; Total Fat 10g (Sat Fat 1g); Protein 45g; Carb 19g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol mg; Sodium 597mg: Sugars 8g


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