I have to thank my Ecuadorian friend Robert Castillo for this recipe, as this was one of the nations I was struggling to find an inspiring meal for!
I met Roberto back in 2003 when we were both studying in the United States, and he recommended this as one of his favourite national dishes. It’s easy to see why- with zingy sweet and sour flavours, it’s the perfect summer meal, going especially well with meaty fish, prawns or chicken.
Ecuador have also enjoyed a good Summer, reaching their third World Cup finals with a game based on attacking flair devised by their Colombian manager Reinaldo Rueda. Under his guidance La Tri actually out qualified much-fancied Uruguay on their way to the tournament proper. Their young squad will be hoping to do even better in four years time!
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
400g Tuna ( or any meaty fish, prawns, or chicken if you fancy) cut into bite size chunks
1 can of coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 orange
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 peppers (one red, one yellow) diced
1 tomato diced
Bunch Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Add the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, cumin, paprika and coriander to a bowl and mix.
2. Add the tuna chunks, set aside, and leave to marinade, for a few hours preferably, to let the flavours develop.
3. Add the oil to a large sauce pan and bring to a medium heat.
4. Add the diced onion and peppers and cook until soft, then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Add plenty of salt to counterbalance any sharpness from the tomatoes.
5. Add the coconut milk to the pan give a good stir to mix the sauce, then turn down to a low heat for around 10 minutes.
6. Add the tuna mix to the pan, and cook for a further 25 minutes, reducing the mix to a thick-soup consistency.
Serve with white rice, fresh orange slices, fried plantains(I left these out- I have plantains coming out of my ears!) and a sprinkle of the fresh coriander.