Fish Porridge (Pirão de Peixe)

The perfect side dish to a meal with fish, this Pirão has a mouth-watering delicious taste! The coastal state of Espírito Santo where this recipe came from is renowned for its many fish based recipes.

Pirão is best served with rice, fish filets and baked potatoes. This dish can be perceived as a Brazilian style porridge: its simple ingredients list fundamentally needs only water, cassava flour, fish, and seasoning. It is the seasoning that will define the individual taste of your Pirão; you can also adjust the thickness by simply increasing the amount of cassava flour.

A bowl of Pirao

Yield: 4-8 servings
Total time:

Pirão de Peixe

* 2-3 fish heads
* 8 cups [2 liters] water
* 2 1/2 cups of raw cassava flour (as needed until desired consistence is reached)
* 3 bay leaves
* 3 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 onion, cut into slices
* 1 red bell pepper, diced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup tomato sauce
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
* 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
* Salt and pepper, to taste


1) Pour the water in a pot over high heat setting, also put in the fish heads, bay leaf. Bring to a boil then make everything simmer for 20 minutes. When this boiling time is done, strain this broth to filter out the fishbones and floating solids.

2) Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a pan then fry the onion and the garlic, until the onion is translucent.

3) Pour the tomato sauce and the lemon juice in the pan with the onions, then add the diced red bell pepper, cilantro, the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 6-7 minutes on medium heat setting, then pour the contents of the pan into the fish broth.

4) Now, stirring constantly, sprinkle in gradually the cassava flour through a sieve, until the broth becomes as thick as a puree.

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