Staying true to his focus on ingredients, Atala’s shrimp dish utilizes two indigenous Brazilian flavors: jambu, a flowering herb, and tucupi, which is a fermented juice extracted from the wild manioc plant. Jambu, from the paracress family, is sometimes called the toothache plant or electric flower as it gives off a numbing, electric-like sensation, similar to a Szechuan pepper. Manioc juice is high in cyanidric acid, a toxic substance. However, this ancestral process of fermentation, a fundamental element of Amazonian culinary culture, causes the acid to evaporate. – Editor’s Note
- 500 grams dried shrimp
- 300 grams jambu leaves
- 500 grams cassava starch
- black salt
- 2 liters tucupi
- 10 grams basil, leaves torn
- 2 spicy aromatic peppers, chopped
- Soak shrimp for 4 hours in cold water, then drain.
- Cook the shrimp in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from water and set aside.
- Use the shrimp cooking water to blanch the jambu leaves for 2 minutes. Remove the jambu from the pan and immediately submerge in ice water. Set aside.
- Place the tucupi, basil, coriander, garlic, and peppers in a large saucepan and heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, set aside and keep warm.
- Next, dissolve the cassava starch in 200 ml water. Set aside. Heat 400 ml water in a medium pan until boiling. Add the starch mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until translucent and thick.
- To finish, place a ladleful of cassava into a bowl. Add a ladleful of the tucupi broth and top with 4 shrimps and a sprig of jambu. Serve.