Caldo Santo ~ Seafood Soup

Caldo Santo ~ Seafood Stew Recipe Card
Caldo Santo ~ Seafood Stew Recipe Card
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Caldo Santo means Holy Broth in Spanish. This Puerto Rican recipe for Seafood Soup is made with shrimp, fish, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yautía, and plantains slowly cooked in a spicy coconut milk base.

This Seafood Soup is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish from Loíza. While it might be considered obscure in the States (and even in other parts of the island), it’s still a popular meal in the Loíza and northeastern region of the island.

The dish is associated with Easter because religious traditions discouraged eating meat on Good Friday, Caldo Santo is a way to wrap up Holy Week with a real pescatarian treat!!!

This dish was made famous by Chef Emma DuPrey de Sterling, who wrote the cookbook “Puerto Rican Artisanal Cooking.”

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Puerto Rican Artisanal Cookery
Puerto Rican Artisanal Cookery

First published in 2004 in Spanish as “Cocina Artesanal Puertorriquena“, and now translated into English, Emma Duprey de Sterling’s Puerto Rican Artisanal Cookery is a feast of tastes for both cooks and their guests. Puerto Rican cuisine, a delicious experience in its own right, reaches new heights with Duprey de Sterling’s preferences for natural ingredients and exotic combinations. Walter Torres’ exuberant illustrations make this book a delight for the sense of taste as well as sight.

Make the Caldo Santo

The best Seafood Soup comes from the best ingredients. Get the most fresh fish and shrimp you can, other than that, stay as true to the list as you can. If you want to make your own Coconut Milk instead of the caned stuff, You will need need 3 coconuts or 10½ cups of sweet shredded coconut to make enough for this recipe.

Leche de Coco Fresca ~ Fresh Coconut Milk
Leche de Coco Fresca is a Puerto Rician recipe for Fresh Coconut Milk. A good rule of thumb to remember is that 1 coconut will make 2 cups of Fresh Coconut Milk.
Check out this recipe
Leche de Coco Fresca ~ Fresh Coconut Milk

Now for the recipe:

Caldo Santo ~ Seafood Stew

Caldo Santo ~ Seafood Soup

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez

Please Rate this Recipe

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Servings 6 people


  • 6 cups coconut milk
  • ½ lb medium shrimp peeled and cleaned
  • ½ lb bacalao ~ salted codfish shredded
  • ½ lb red snapper deboned, filled and cut into piece
  • 1 lb batata ~ sweet potato cut into chunks
  • ½ lb calabaza ~ pumpkin cut into chunks
  • ½ lb yautía ~ taro root cut into pieces
  • 3 green plantains peeled and shredded, shaped into 1-inch balls
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 sweet peppers finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs coriander
  • tbsp achiote oil
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves to garnish with


For the Seafood

  • Place the seafood and coconut milk in a large saucepan. Season with salt to taste and cook over medium-high heat until the seafood is done, about 15-20 minutes.
    6 cups coconut milk, ½ lb medium shrimp, ½ lb bacalao ~ salted codfish, ½ lb red snapper, salt
  • Strain the seafood and reserve the broth. Discard the bones and shells, if there are any. Set the seafood aside in a covered container for later.

For the Soup

  • While the seafood is cooking, prepare the plantain balls by peeling and shredding the plantains. Form the mix into 1 inch balls.
    3 green plantains
  • In the same pot, you cooked the seafood in, sauté the crushed garlic, bell pepper, sweet peppers, and coriander with the oil until tender and aromatic.
    3 cloves garlic, 3 sweet peppers, 1 green bell pepper, 3 sprigs coriander, 1½ tbsp achiote oil
  • Add the broth, cut vegetables, and plantain balls into the pot. If necessary, add more water to cover the vegetables. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are starting to become tender.
    1 lb batata ~ sweet potato, ½ lb calabaza ~ pumpkin, ½ lb yautía ~ taro root, 3 cups water
  • Add the seafood to the pot. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool before serving. Garnish with coriander leaves.
    coriander leaves


Before serving, stir the soup well to prevent the coconut milk from separating.
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  1. I’m anxious to try this recipe. A question though; the ingredients list says 3 sweet peppers. What type of pepper are you referring to? I would assume bell pepper, but you have bell pepper as another ingredient. Also, the instructions say to add chili peppers, but they are not on the ingredients list. How many? Or is the 3 sweet peppers on the ingredients list actually 3 chili peppers? Thanks for any clarification you can give.

    • The directions should have said sweet peppers. I have corrected that error. Sweet peppers are related to bell peppers. They are smaller and much sweeter than the standard bell pepper.Sweet Peppers


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