Fresh and easy seafood recipes are a go-to here at COCINA. Seafood is a low-fat high quality protein that is packed with vitamins and nutrients and a crowd pleaser. Not to mention, it’s quick to make.
But after Carnival -or Carnaval in Spanish speaking countries- when the Christian Lent kicks off (2/23), we get an influx of easy seafood recipes requests from people who are observing (giving up meat until Easter) and wanting to up their game with delicious meals.
So we’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes that include seafood and vegetables as main ingredients for seafood lovers and Lent observers alike.
Check out these delicious easy seafood recipes!
This seafood casserole recipe, inspired by the Spanish paella, is ideal to enjoy a variety of fresh shellfish and fishes and is abundant enough to share with family or friends!
There are many variations of the paella in Latin countries like Peru, Chile, Argentina and Mexico. Our Casserole version is easy to prepare and full of flavor!
Ceviche is an ancient staple of Latin food, more specifically in the Peruvian cuisine. It is very easy to prepare, fresh and flavorful!
This recipe is prepared with tilapia, but if you pride yourself on being a fish connoisseur, you can prepare it with a different fish or even shellfish!
Ceviche consists of small pieces of fresh fish or shrimp marinated with lemon juice and spices. The combination of these fresh, marine, acid and spicy flavors make this dish a real delicacy.
Here are many (and we do mean many) of our ceviche recipes for you to try them!
More about the origins of Ceviche
The origins of ceviche remain unknown. And although there are several theories, the main ones indicate that it was the pre-Inca culture of the Moches, located on the coast of Peru, who made the first ceviches between the 2nd and 5th century AD.
They prepared the dish with fresh fish and macerated it with tumbo’s (a local fruit) juice, since its acid was known for disinfecting raw food.
Thanks to subsequent migration and cultural currents, this recipe has evolved into the mouth-watering dish we know today. For example, with the arrival of the Spanish, the tumbo was replaced by lemon, a citrus that was more widely used in Spain.
Aguachile is a classic from the northern region of Mexico, more specifically Sinaloa. The aguachile has a history as interesting as its preparation, check it out here!
Crab Meat Croquettes
These heavenly warm croquetas never disappoint!
They are great to serve as starters. The combination of the crab meat’s flavor mixed with peppers, onions, seasoned with spices excites the palette. Add a touch of mayonnaise and mustard and you are good to go!
Quick tip! If crab meat is breaking your budget you can easily replace it with surimi strips, which are cheaper and have a similar texture.
Who doesn’t love fried calamari rings? Though the ingredient list may sound a little icky for those who are not that into seafood -they are made out of the tube of the common squid, after all- these oil-fried rings’s flavor bring everyone to the table.
The best finishing touches for these fried calamari rings are simple: just salt, lemon and a homemade mayonnaise or a tartar sauce, and voila!
What are some of the most popular easy seafood recipes for Lent in Latin America?
Throughout Latin America, the traditions, ceremonies and typical gastronomy of each country during Lent can vary.
For instance, Guatemalans eat Biscayne-style cod with pickled vegetables and battered dried fish.
In Colombia, starting Ash Wednesday, every Friday for forty days meat is off the menu for many, so observers eat tuna, mote de queso, mote de palmito, potato salad with eggs and beets dressed with mayonnaise, and rice with bean.
In the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, it is customary, depending on the area, to eat morrocoy cake, turtle or iguana eggs, sapoara stew and cod. For dessert, rice pudding and coconut rice.
In Argentina, the family reunion every Easter is a tradition. Lunch is served with empanadas de vigilia (traditionally made with tuna), paella and cod.
Learn more about easy seafood recipes in Latin America!
Because there’s such an amazing variety of seafood in Latin America, you can check out this article about five typical ways of preparing it in this region.