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Tapado Gautemala - Caribbean seafood soup with coconut milk, yucca and plantain

Tapado - Guatemalan Seafood Soup with Coconut Milk

A creamy seafood soup featuring rich coconut milk, yucca and plantain

Course Soup
Cuisine Guatemalan
Keyword coconut milk, easy Guatemalan recipes, Garifuna, Guatemalan tapado, seafood coconut soup, tapado, tapado recipe Guatemala
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 825 kcal
Author Michele Peterson


  • 1 Tbsp garlic clove
  • 1 tsp jalapeno
  • small handful cilantro
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and peeled
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water vegetable or seafood stock
  • 1 cup yuca chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 plantains sliced on diagonal
  • 1 green banana sliced on diagonal
  • 1/2 can Grace Foods coconut milk
  • 20 raw shrimp peeled and deveined but tails on
  • 2 Caribbean lobster tails if available or mixed seafood of your choice
  • 4 filets white fish or you can fry a whole fish
  • 1/4 tsp achiote
  • Grace Foods Hot Pepper sauce


  1. Chop the first six ingredients in a food processor
  2. Place the vegetable oil in the bottom of a large soup pot

  3. Saute the chopped vegetables in oil until soft and saucy but not browned.

  4. Dissolve the achiote in warm water (or seafood stock) 

  5. Add water and achiote to sauteed vegetables
  6. Pour the coconut milk into the broth and vegetables 

  7. Heat until simmering and add the sliced plantain, green banana and yucca

  8. Cook for around 10 minutes
  9. Add seafood and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until vegetables and seafood is tender but not mushy.
  10. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  11. If you want to prepare it the traditional way, you can deep-fry a whole fish and lay it on the top of the soup
  12. Serve with white rice, tortillas and Grace Foods hot pepper sauce

Recipe Notes

  • When choosing a plantain to use for tapado, look for one with black skin indicating it's ripe but try to select one that is not mushy
  • Green bananas add a taste of bitterness that is a nice complement to the sweetness of the coconut milk. Green bananas are simply unripe versions of the yellow banana. They're often used in savoury dishes in the Caribbean.  
  • Don't overcook your tapado soup. You want the fish and seafood to stay intact. 
  • Use a firm white fish, such as halibut, haddock or cod for this recipe. Stay away from sole ( too delicate) or tuna  ( too oily).
  • In Livingston, tapado is often served with a fried whole fish on top.  To serve it the traditional Garifuna way, be sure to gut and scale the fish, dry it thoroughly, sprinkle it with sea salt and fry it  in corn oil until very crispy.  

Note: Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed to be accurate. It is created by online calculators and although we attempt to provide accurate nutritional information, the figures are only estimates.

Nutrition Facts
Tapado - Guatemalan Seafood Soup with Coconut Milk
Amount Per Serving
Calories 825 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Cholesterol 233mg78%
Sodium 797mg35%
Potassium 1871mg53%
Carbohydrates 118g39%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 38g42%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 3015IU60%
Vitamin C 106.9mg130%
Calcium 211mg21%
Iron 6.2mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.