Apa de Camarão – Shrimp Cake

Goan Recipes

I wanted to share this recipe of Apa de Camarão before Thanksgiving as I thought it would be nice to jazz up the bread stuffing to make a lovely lightly sweet and spicy Shrimp Cake/Pie. This Goan Prawn Cake or Pie is not made too often and not found in restaurants but in the homes of those who were born during the Portuguese era.

apa-de-camarao-prawn-pie-bol-de-camarao-recipeApa de Camarão (Prawn Bread) is traditionally made with overnight soaked rice that is ground with fresh grated coconut, coconut toddy( you can read more here) and nutmeg. Bolo de Camarão (Prawn Cake) is the same but made with lightly sweetened flour batter. Since both seemed as too much work, I decided to come up with a cheat version where the batter is less complicated and since Indian food does have a reputation to be complicated and time-consuming, this was a great way to maintain…

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Kasuzuke Pickles

imageKasuzuke are pickles preserved in a mixture of sake lees (a yeast mash by-product that is left over after making sake), salt, sugar and sake or sweet cooking wine (mirin). They are allowed to cure for anywhere from several days to several years, and the resulting pickles may be slightly alcoholic with flavors that vary from sweet and mild to strong and pungent depending on how long they were cured for.

These are some jars of pickles I bought at a recent Arts & Crafts fair.  The elderly gentlemen selling these pickles proudly told me that it took him two years to make them.


He said to just take out of the jar what I wanted to eat and wash it thoroughly in water.


Which I did and these were some of the best pickles I have had in a long time, very savory or umami.  The flavor of these pickles exactly explains the word umami or the  “fifth taste” after salt, sweet, sour and bitter.


Kasuzuke is made with cucumbers, eggplants, uri (a cucumber-like gourd), daikon (radishes) and pickling melons. Carrots, eggplants, watermelon rind, and ginger can also be pickled in this way. It was made as a way to preserve vegetables for a wintertime food.

There is also a fish kasuzuke, where the sugar is sometimes omitted, and sake, shoyu (soy sauce), pepper and/or ginger may be added. Typical fish include cod, salmon, butterfish, and tai snapper.  (This may be the fermented fish that I remember from my dads pickling refrigerator http://wp.me/P4KYq6-b  from the Recipe page)

Small cucumbers or other vegetables equivalent to 6 or 8 small cucumbers

  • 3 cups of sake lees
  • 3 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • Splash of sake or mirin

Salt vegetables with 2 tbsp of the salt. Place in a container with a weight on the mix overnight.  The weight can be a small plate with a jar of water or some other weight.

In a separate bowl combine sake lees, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar. Mix well. If you are using dry (it will be crumbly) add the sake or mirin to moisten.  It should be the consistency of a thick paste now.

Use two identical shallow containers.  Spread part of the sake lees mixture on the bottom of the first (small bowl or crock or similar) container.  Layer the vegetables that you have squeezed and drained the water from next and then alternate layers of sake lees with the rest the vegetables.  The vegetables should be completely covered.  Top with second container and a weight on top of that the desired length of time.

Some of the recipes I read said you could use the paste up to three times so scrape off the paste and save to reuse in the next batch!  You will have to be patient as these two year pickles were worth the wait!

Welcome to Sansei Life

Welcome to Sansei Life! A blog exploring and learning about the Asian community in Denver.When I was much younger I tried a new Japanese restaurant in Arvada called Namiko’s for a sushi snack. It was very good. I got into a conversation with Yuri the owner and she ended up offering me a part time job on weekends. I spent most of the first evening running to Yuri asking her what the various dishes were and what was in them and what they tasted like. In exasperation Yuri asked me if I was Japanese! She could not understand how a Japanese did not know simple restaurant fare.  That is when I really understood that I was a Sansei out of touch with my culture. I am ready to experience and learn about today’s Asian culture.
Issei First Generation
Nisei Second Generation
Sansei Third Generation
Yonsei Fourth Generation
Gosei Fifth Generation
Please join me as I explore the rich Asian culture that is part of Denver and Colorado’s unique makeup.Please share your stories and ideas on what you’d like to hear more about, events and what is happening in Denver in the Asian community.
Paula Matsumoto