Vatapa with Mussels

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Traditionally, Vatapa is a Brazilian stew made with shrimp or fish.  This week I decided to change it up a little bit and make it with mussels.

Vatapa with mussels in a bowl.

I was planning to use fish, but my grocery store had mussels on sale, and they were very fresh, so I changed it up and make Vatapa with Mussels.  Mussels are much cheaper than most seafood, so they make an economical choice. The broth for this stew is kind of unusual, as it is made from fish stock, beer and coconut milk.  It sounds like a strange combination, but it made for a rich broth that really enhanced the flavor of the seafood.

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A bowl of vatapa with mussels on a wooden table.

The soup is made with one serrano pepper, which gives it just a little bit of spice without being overwhelming.  It is topped off with coriander, cashews and lime wedges, and makes an excellent Lenten Meal.  I haven’t done much Brazilian cooking, but after seeing how much my family enjoyed this meal I am planning to try some more soon!

Yield: 6

Vatapa with Mussels

Vatapa with Mussels
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, chopped
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 2 c. fish stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • cashews, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Heat oil in large soup pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, sugar and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and serrano chili and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Mix in tomatoes, beer and fish stock. Bring to a boil and them simmer at reduced heat for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer for a another 15 minutes.
  6. Wash and de-beard the mussels.
  7. Add the mussels to the pan, cover and raise the heat to medium high. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mussels all open.
  8. Add the lime juice, and sprinkle with cashews and cilantro.


Nutrition facts are estimates.

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Saturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 872mgCarbohydrates: 12gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g
Vatapa with Lime Wedges


Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

4 thoughts on “Vatapa with Mussels”

  1. This is an intriguing combo. My husband normally makes our mussels in a wine sauce. Perhaps next time we’ll add a twist and try this recipe. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.


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