Guatamalan Topado Lighter & Faster Version!

Guatemala is a warm and welcoming country, the locals greet you with a gift of a little knitted doll, and the food reflects the warmth of the people.
Topado is a slightly spicy fish stew. I enjoyed it on my many visits to Guatemala, and I wanted to make a lighter version of it.
Street food was my usual go-to, but this wonderfully coconutty and slightly spicy dish was worth visiting a restaurant for. Traditionally, the coconut milk would be made from scratch and grated coconut added at the end. I have used canned light coconut milk and left out the grated coconut, to remove some fat and calories! It also makes it much faster to prepare for a weeknight supper. Getting back into new work patterns, it’s nice to have something fast and easy when you get home so that you can get settled with the next box set binge-watch session!!
For more fish and seafood recipes, visit
For more light dishes visit

WINE NOTE: Chilean Sauvignon blanc, served cold is a great match for this stew. This softer version is seaside enough for the fish but soft and fruity to pair with the achiote and coconut flavors.


2 Cups / 500ml Light cups coconut milk
1 Small onion thinly sliced
1 Red bell pepper cut into ¼ strips
2 lbs Seabass or red snapper cut into 2” cubes
1lb Shrimp (King Prawns) peeled and deveined
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp achiote (or chipotle chili paste) -scroll to the end of recipe for ordering tab in UK
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
1 Medium plantain (or a banana if you can’t get a plantain) cut into 1” slices
1 Medium tomato (2 tomatoes if you are in the UK) diced
3 tbsp Minced cilantro (fresh coriander)

Spray a non-stick skillet and warm on medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and saute for 10 minutes or until softened.
Add the Coconut Milk, oregano, achiote, a pinch of sea salt, and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until thickened a little- about 5 minutes.
Add the fish and shrimp and keep simmering about 8 minutes until both are opaque.
Add the plantain and tomato and cook for another 5 minutes.
Stir through the shrimp and serve.