Camarão na Moranga
Camarão na Moranga, or Pumpkin with Shrimp is a classic Brazilian dish that I have grown to love. It is very different from any Mexican dish I’ve ever eaten and unlike any other Latin dish I’ve come across! It consists of a baked pumpkin filled with sautéed shrimp, onion, garlic, and tomatoes, blended together in a flavorful sauce. You can serve it over white rice and the presentation will wow your guests. A typical Brazilian ingredient for this dish is requeijão or a creamy cheese that is spread inside the pumpkin prior to filling it with the shrimp stew. The type of requeijão used in Brazil, Catipury, is not found in most U.S. supermarkets. Instead, use mascarpone cheese as a substitute and if the price is too steep, cream cheese will do the trick. This dish is not as difficult to prepare as you may think. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Note: Typically this dish is more soup-like than what is pictured above. I find that my guests prefer heartier, larger pieces of vegetables and less broth. Feel free to add more milk if you prefer it more “soupier.” Does that make sense? 🙂
1 large pumpkin
12 oz. Catipury or mascarpone cheese (can substitute with any other cream cheese if these are not available)
2 lb. large shrimp, tail-off and deveined
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup coconut milk or heavy whipping cream (coconut milk will give it a distinct flavor)
salt, pepper to taste
– Cover pumpkin with foil paper and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked. You can check if the pumpkin is cooked by introducing a fork into the area around the stem. Remove from oven and set aside.
– In a large pan, add onions, and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft.
– Add shrimp and cook until shrimp begins to turn pink. At this point, add tomatoes and cook until they become soft.
– Add tomato puree and stir until well incorporated.
– Stir in 4 oz. of cream cheese and the milk. Stir.
– (Optional) you can scoop out some of the pumpkin meat and incorporate it into the stew as well
– Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Set aside
– Take the remainder of the cream cheese and spread it along the inside of the pumpkin.
– Transfer the shrimp and tomato stew into the pumpkin. Your guests can scoop out some of the shrimp and pumpkin onto a bowl of white rice.
* Cauliflower rice substituted for white rice in photos