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Stephanie Says… Pura Vida Food and Drinks      

While I was on my holiday I was able to try a lot of local drinks and food and they were simply amazing.  Some things were a little far-fetch but don’t knock it until you try it!!!

Costa Rican food is actually pretty healthy.  A staple is Costa Rican food is rice and black beans.  You will be able to find that in a lot of their dishes paired with a meat and a good portion of vegetables and fruit.  Costa Ricans typically have a high fiber diet.


Almost all of my favorite meals in Costa Rica were seafood.  Their seafood was insanely fresh.  I had crusted almond sea bass and it melted like butter.  You had no idea that you were eating fish.  It was amazing.  It was the perfect portion.  I’m pretty sure I was licking the plate clean.  I’ve posted a recipe below if you all want to give it a try!

Tilapia is an extremely popular fish.  You can find Tilapia is almost every body of water.  I don’t know why the tilapia tastes better in Costa Rica but it does.  Maybe because the country is so “green”?  I don’t know but I had grilled tilapia with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes.  It was a party in your mouth!! They seasoned it with some sort of chili salt.  You got the heat of the chili but the salty flavor like they just caught the fish 20 minutes before they served you dinner.  Absolutely amazing.

Another great dish that you all need to try which is sooooooo good! Mahi Mahi tacos! You shut it down!  This fish is also referred to as “dolphin” and no, we are not eating Flipper.  Mahi Mahi is so mild (like tilapia) and will take the taste of whatever you cook it with.  Personally I love it grilled and made into a taco.  At the hotel they had mahi mahi tacos with mango/jalapeño salsa.  Talk about delicious! I wish I took pictures of all of this because they were plated so beautifully but they tasted even better.

Lastly, while we were doing the volcano tour we stopped for lunch at a little hole in the wall place.  I was so excited knowing it was going to be super authentic.  Boy, was I right.  I had arroz con pollo, which means chicken and rice.  It was yellow Spanish rice with carrots, corn and green beans with small pieces of chicken.  I have no idea how they made it or what else they put in it but it was the best arroz con pollo I have ever had.  I would go back to Costa Rica just for this dish!


Ok! Drink time!!!

At the resort they had a drink called the “Tico Mojito”.  Costa Ricans are known as “ticos and ticas”.  It’s a friendly nickname the Nicaraguans gave them 100 years ago.  The Tico Mojito is a classic mojito (mint, lime, sugar, rum and club soda) but they added passion fruit juice.  I drank that all week! Dangerously easy to drink!  I drank those suckers all day long!  I cannot wait to make them at home!! Such a great summer drink!  I’m happy I managed to take a picture of it!


Ok so this next and last drink threw me for a loop.  Sounds gross, looks gross but don’t knock it until you try it!  It’s the national shot of Costa Rica and it’s called “Chile Water”.  I can taste it now.  Chile water is cacique (The national liquor of Costa Rica.  I would describe it as vodka…goes with anything), lime juice and either Tabasco or actual chili water.  Salt the rim of the shot glass.  It looks like a Bloody Mary, which I am not a huge fan of.  I was scared to try it but I manned up, did the shot and was in shock that I really liked it!  So much so I ordered another one.  It is spicy but in a good way.  I couldn’t get enough of it, until I got horrible heartburn from all the Tabasco.  Like I said, this shot sounds and looks disgusting but oh so scrumptious.  Again, this shot is great during the summer.  I am pretty sure this will be a staple in our home.

As I said in my previous post, run do not walk to Costa Rica.  This small beautiful country is well worth it!


As always, thank you for reading Stephanie Says!

Coming up next week, my vacation reads!



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Almond Crusted Sea Bass (recipe curtsey of http://www.asweetpeachef.com/fish/almond-crusted-sea-bass/)

  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, to coat the fish
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, to coat the fish
  • 2 4-6 oz. sea bass fillets
  • ⅓ cup whole almonds (raw or roasted)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. granulated (or powdered) garlic
  • ⅛ tsp. powdered ginger
  • ¼ cup spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp. olive oil


  1. Add the almonds to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until completely processed. Add the almond crumbles to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the paprika, granulated garlic and powdered ginger.
  2. Brush the fillets with the spicy mustard until fully coated. Lightly sprinkle the salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet.
  4. Coat the sea bass with the almond mixture until well-coated. The mustard will help the mixture stick to the fish.
  5. Cook the fish in the pan until golden brown on one side, about 6-8 minutes. Once browned, flip and cook opposite side for another 6-8 minutes. Check the fish to see if it is done by inserting a fork into the flesh and twisting. If it flakes, it’s ready. If it is still squishy and not opaque, it’s not yet ready so continue to cook, checking every 2 minutes for doneness.



One comment on “Stephanie Says… Pura Vida Food and Drinks      

  1. Lisa N.
    October 11, 2014

    Yum! Everything looks delicious!

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