Surubi the great Amazon catfish!

by Bella and Noly
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Chicago, USA)

Surubi­ (Amazon Catfish)

Surubi­ (Amazon Catfish)

Surubi­ (Amazon Catfish)

Welcome back to Wacataya Wednesdays! Does everyone have a big bowl of llajua ready? You're going to need it because this week I have two great Bolivian recipes to share with you... Click to see today's recipe. Click on the pictures above to see what a surubi looks like.

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May 20, 2015
Good to read
by: Mary

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Oct 28, 2010
catfish skin
by: Anonymous

Wondering if I can import the skin to make leather goods?

Jul 08, 2010
Surubi the great Amazon catfish
by: BoliviaBella

Hey everyone! Chef Noly tells me she'll be sharing a recipe using surubí today. Surubí is a giant catfish and one of the most commonly eaten fish in Bolivia, where most surubí is caught in the northern Department of Beni in the Amazon River tributaries.

In the Amazon everything is big! Bugs are big, birds are big, frogs are enormous, snakes are gigantic, butterflies are as big as get the picture. So of course, surubí are also really big! One surubí can weight up to 200 pounds and measure over 8 feet long. But the average size is about 5 feet and 100 pounds (still, a big fish). Surubí is one of the biggest freshwater fish in Bolivia.

Now usually people think of catfish as bottom feeders but Bolivia, being one of the world's top ten most biologically diverse countries, has an amazing variety of fish (hundreds and hundreds of species) and surubí have no lack of food available to them so they tend to eat small forage fish rather than scrape along the river bottom.

There are three species of surubí that I know of. Surubí have a firm white meat for the most part, but dark meat areas are also tasty, and slightly flakier. The nice thing about Surubí is that, being such a large fish, it has large spine and rib bones so the meat is not full of little tiny sharp spines.

Bolivians eat surubí in a lot of different ways, baked, boiled, fried, and even raw so I'm pretty excited to see what Chef Noly's cooking up today!

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