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Andy Bates is known for his hearty street food. His modern twists on classic dishes are fuelled by his international travels and a passion for re-discovering and cooking great British food. As the gaffer of specialist food company ‘Eat My Pies’, Andy brings the best of British food back to the public, including classic tarts, pies, Scotch eggs and, of course, some tasty puddings.

Andy is a contributing chef for Food Network UK and has already had two successful series broadcast on the channel - Andy Bates Street Feasts and Andy Bates American Street Feasts. His latest series, Andy Bates Brazilian Street Feasts, launched in February 2014. All three series follow him as he travels across continents to explore the world of street food and find the stories and people behind the recipes. As a result, he has become a leading expert on street food, with regular appearances on the street food circuit. Andy, who lives by the quote "You should always finish on a little bit of pudding", has also written a cookbook offering modern twists on classic dishes.

Chef TV Blog Recipes 

On a global food adventure meeting inspiring people along the way.

Tacaca (Hot and Sour Soup)

Andy Bates

My quest to find the best of Brazil's street food has brought me to the largest city in the state of Amazonas, Manaus. Manaus was in incredible place - an urban metropolis in the middle of a tropical jungle, that is now home to over two million people. It may be a modern city, but when it comes to the food, it retains a strong Amazonian flavour. This is where I met up with Alice Souza, a born and bred Manaus resident and an expert on the local cuisine. Alice is passionate about her hometown and it's home grown ingredients. And she knows where to find all the best street food and the many stories that go along with the recipes. I asked Alice... What is the local dish that best describes home to her? And she told me that every time she comes back from a holiday she needs to have a bowl of Tacaca, it's the only dish that makes her feel at home. Alice took me to met Rosa Melo who took over the running of Tacaca de Gisela in 2004. Her soup has gained national recognition and was awarded the best in town. So what exactly is Tacaca? Alice explains that it is the ultimate indigenous legacy in Brazil. It is a shrimp soup that has a very sharp, distinctive flavour, which you apparently either love or hate... and it was exactly that ;) 

andy-bates-hot-and-sour-soup
andy-bates-brazilian-streetfeasts

I asked Rosa says that people always try to guess the secret to her seasoning but she says you need to love what you do... and leave the rest to the experts! She produces over 400 litres of soup a week and has had to build an industrial kitchen a few metres away to meet the demand. The soup is served in bowls called cuias. They are made from the skin of the cuiera fruit and served with amazonian chicory. And when I asked for a spoon, I was told you can't eat or drink it, but rather you have to sip it (regardless of the weather) and then use a little wooden stick to eat the chicory and shrimps. And apparently, the amazonian chicory makes your mouth or lips numb. 

Well, I am not going to be able to make anything that is quite like this, but I have got a dish that is kind of up the same street. 


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:

  • 150 grams minced pork
  • 150 grams raw tiger prawns, deveined and finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • Sea salt and white pepper
  • 24 wonton wrappers

FOR THE SOUP:

  • 1.5 litres fresh chicken stock
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • Thumb-sized piece root ginger, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, bashed
  • 150 grams fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 6 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 to 3 limes
  • Light soy sauce