Friday, May 16, 2008

Four Delicious Piranha Recipes

Prepare your freshly-caught Piranha native style, with these Brazilian recipes. Cachama, a Piranha-related farm-raised species, is often used where Piranha are not locally available. Cachama (in Colombia) and Tambaqui or Pacu (in Brazil) which also originate in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins can likewise be used. Two Cachama species cultivated commercially in Central and South America are the white one (Piaractus brachypomus) and the black one (Colossoma macropomum). If one of these is not available where you live, any firm white-fleshed fish or fillets will amply suffice. Here are four delicious ways to prepare your Piranha:

Fried Piranha

Piranha in Tomato Sauce
Piranha, whole, cleaned and scaled
4 firm, ripe tomatoes
1 finely chopped medium-sized onion
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
half a cup of water
2 tablespoons of margarine
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and cut tomato into small cubes. Put half the tomatoes and onion into a large frying pan, place the cleaned Piranha on top then cover it with the rest of the tomato, onion and parsley. Add the salt and pepper.
Add half of the water and cook covered over a low fire for about 20 minutes or until the fish can be easily pierced with a fork.
Carefully remove the Piranha from the pan and place on a warm serving dish. Reduce the mixture in the frying pan for an additional 5 minutes until thickened and pour over the Piranha.
Brazilian Piranha Soup
Piranha, whole fish (or heads)
green vegetables in season or to taste
carrots, peeled and sliced or diced
yams, peeled and cut up
onions, whole small or quartered
salt and pepper to taste
1 or 2 small chilies to spice things up a bit
small ginger root, coarsely chopped
1 or 2 sliced or wedged lemons or limes
Boil whole fish in vegetable stock with spices and pieces of ginger. Add fresh cut up vegetables. Remove bones and larger fins from the fish. Slice lemon or lime as garnish. Remember, the head is an aphrodisiac and is often served separately. The soup can also be made entirely from Piranha heads if desired.
Fried Piranha
A medium-sized whole Piranha for each serving
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
sprig of fresh parsley
whole lemon or lime
1 or 2 whole ripe tomatoes, sliced
small quantity of seasoned flour or corn meal
Clean and scale the fish thoroughly. Make a series of diagonal cuts along both sides of the fish from top to belly. Crush the garlic cloves and mix with the salt and a little pepper. Rub this mixture into the cuts along the sides of the fish. Wrap with a damp banana leaf (or a moistened paper towel). Allow to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Some Colombian cooks leave refrigerated overnight. Heat some fresh cooking oil to a high temperature in a large frying pan. Sprinkle the marinated fish lightly with seasoned flour or corn meal. Fry golden brown on each side, turning the fish carefully after browning. Serve hot garnished with sliced tomato and fresh lemon or lime juice squeezed over the fish.
Grilling Piranha Amazon Style
Grilling fresh-caught fish on an open fire is always a tasty way to enjoy a fresh catch. Use a whole cleaned and scaled fish, rub it lightly with oil, season it with salt and pepper or other available spices, then place it on a grill, about 4 – 6 inches from the heat. In the wild you can use a framework of small twigs and shaved saplings to position the fish over the fire. Cover the fish with a banana leaf (or foil), and cook until the fish is brown on the underside, approximately 6 - 8 minutes. Turn the fish carefully and continue until the flesh near the bone is (check with the tip of a small knife or long fork), in approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Smaller fish usually work best using this method, especially in the jungle.
Modifying these procedures slightly will allow you to adapt them for use with a barbeque grill. If you haven’t already, be sure to read the article “Piranha: Deadly and Delicious” which is online at: . Buen Provecho!
Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free.
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