Peruvian Seafood Stew with Cilantro Broth


  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion- diced
  • 1 fresh green ancho chili – chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper – chopped (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic – rough chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 3 cups water – divided
  • 4 cups small diced potatoes
  • 2 cup diced carrots
  • 2 whole bunches cilantro, including small stems
  • 2 lbs seafood, mixed -shrimp, scallops, mussels, fish, (or sub cooked chicken, or chickpeas)
  • ½ teaspoon- ¾ teaspoon salt
  • cracked pepper
  • 2 limes
  • cilantro and sour cream for garnish
  • crusty bread for dipping
  • NOTE: Don’t boil the cilantro mixture too long or you will lose the pretty green color. In the photos you see me using 2 poblano chilis, and this was quite spicy. The next time I used 1 plus a green bell pepper – spicy, but not overly.


Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pot, over medium high heat.

Add onion and sauté for two minutes, stirring often.

Add ancho chili and bell pepper. Turn heat to medium and sauté until tender about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add garlic and spices and cook for two minutes or until fragrant.

Scrape this all into a blender and set aside.

In the same pot, add 4 cups chicken broth or stock, plus 1 cup water.

Bring to a boil.

Add the small diced potatoes and carrots and simmer over medium heat until just tender, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, add two whole bunches of cilantro to the blender, stems and all. I usually cut or twist off 1-2 inches off the stems, leaving the rest.

Add 2 cups lukewarm water to the blender. Bend everything until VERY smooth, at least 45 seconds.

Do not add this yet, just have it ready.

Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, add the seafood and simmer until desired doneness, or about 3-5 minutes.

When seafood is cooked, stir in cilantro mixture from the blender.

Heat, but do not boil too long, or you will lose the lovely green color

Squeeze the limes – I used 1 ½ limes.

Taste, adjust salt.

Serve in bowls with cilantro sprigs, sour cream (optional) and crusty bread.

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