Every time I visit my brother in San Salvador, I share this appetizing dish with him at his Peruvian restaurant. Even though it looks complex, it’s very easy to recreate at home, an it’s a great recipe to have in hand during Lent.
To make it, you can use any kind of shellfish you like. I, for example, love shrimp and calamari. And what about clams and scallops? Razor blades and mussels? Shellfish cook in the blink of an eye, and this is part of the magic of this flavorful dish: most of the preparation is made in advance, and only the cooking is left for the end.
Octopus, however, is a different story. You will need an extra hour to clean it and boil it until tender. Only then, you may proceed with the recipe as instructed.
- • 1 small octopus
- • 2 bay leaves
- • Salt and pepper
- • 1 medium potato
- • 2 tablespoons aji panca paste
- • 3 garlic cloves, mashed
- • 1 tablespoon paprika
- • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- • ½ cup olive oil
- • ½ cup red wine vinegar
- • 8 ounce calamari, cut in rings
- • 8 ounce shrimp, cleaned
- • 8 ounce scallops, cleaned
- To cook the octopus, bring a saucepan of water with the bay leaves and salt to a boil. Holding the clean octopus by the head, dip the tip of the tentacles in the boiling water. They will curl immediately. Place the octopus in the saucepan, add the potato and cook. When the potato is tender, so is the octopus. Transfer to a chopping board and let cool to room temperature.
- Slice the octopus and combine with calamari, shrimp, and scallops. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine aji panca paste, garlic, paprika, dried oregano, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add this sauce to the seafood. This can be refrigerated for about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Add the seafood and cook, turning once, for about 4 minutes on each side, or until shrimp turn pink and scallops look opaque.
- Serve at once with boiled and sliced potatoes and cherry tomatoes. Use boiled yucca if you like it.