A manaba viche to enjoy at home

One day in Manabi I was invited to a culinary experience I will never forget. They told me about trying a «viche«, an ancient delicious recipe from this coastal province.

The challenge was not only to eat it but to help on the preparation and take some notes. So I became Mrs. María Demera‘s kitchen assistant, a Manabita woman of great resiliance and strength.

I was surprised to see such abundance and diverse ingredients such as: peanut paste, achiote, fish, shrimp, sweet potato, cassava, squash and other goods required to prepare this delicacy.

With such fresh and noble ingredients I was a bit afraid I would spoil it all up, I must say, but everything was getting in shape with the wise and experienced manabita’s advice. I could tell by the tasty smell of it. Her expertice helped me get the precise dose of each ingredient, not a little less nor a little more. Salt and pepper at their point,and the whole atmosphere gets invaded by a delicious aroma awakens the appetite.

Some history

The soup is considered a meal for the Gods. It unites the flavors both from sea and land. It is an ancient soup of pre-Hispanic origin prepared thousands of years ago by the inhabitants of coastal lands of Valdivia, Chorrera and Jama Coaque cultures.

It is served on Sundays to share a meal with all family members on a moment of companion. This is a dish that represents Manabí, therefore you’ll find it on many restaurants and fish markets throughout the province.

Preparation

Fry some chopped vegetables on a pot and add the peanuts sauce previously mixed with water or fish broth, season and heat until it boils, gradually add the vegetables: corn, cassava and beans.

Boil until its softened, always check that it has enough liquid. Don’t forget to constantly stir. Likewise, add the sweet potato, the achogcha and the plantain.

Finally add the shrimp and let it reduce. Serve the broth with ricelemon and homemade chili sauce.

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