RECIPE -Prawn Sango-

by Emilia Bastidas

The word “sango” unfortunately does sound like “fango” (mud in Spanish). In fact, in Countries like Chile, the word means “dense mud”. It might be on purpose given the texture of this dish, which resembles the silt, there’s no point in denying it, but an exquisite silt, if ever there was one. The sango can be of many things, but the most common one is the Ecuadorian prawn one. The latter is quite famous in the South of this continent and its mention provokes saliva and sighs. The prawns are a big source for exportation in the Country, from where they travel mainly to Europe (38% goes to France, Spain and Italy), the US (34%) and Asia (24%, mainly to Vietnam, China and South Korea), according to the National Aquaculture Organization . The recipe we have made is by courtesy of Emilia Bastidas, authentic Ecuadorian from the coast:


- Ecuadorian prawns
- Fish (any, better if local)
- Green plantain
- Pepper
- Onion
- Tomato
- Coriander
- Cumin
- Garlic
- Peanut butter
- Peanuts
- Achiote oil
- Rice


1. Clean and peel the prawns, keep the shells and heads. Clean and fillet the fish. Keep the spines and head for the stock.
2. Chop the onion, pepper, garlic and tomato, and sauté in achiote oil in a saucepan. Fry the shells and heads on a pan until golden, and incorporate to the saucepan along with the rest of the vegetables. Fill with water just to cover everything and add the spines and fish head. Let it simmer for half an hour.
3. Grate the green plantain and boil in water until it thickens up.
4. Remove the stock from the heat, drain it and put it back on the stove until it reduces to the half.
5. Sauté the onion, garlic and pepper in achiote oil until the onion is transparent. Add a spoonful of cooked green plantain and fry for a few minutes. Beat everything with an electric whisk, adding stock to adjust the texture and peanut butter to adjust the flavor.
6. Cook the rice with the fish stock.
7. Fry the prawns with laminated garlic on achiote oil, and the fish on the skin side so it crisps up.
8. Serve the rice with the prawns and fish, and cover with the sauce and some crushed peanuts.