What says “summer” more than dining alfresco with little wine and fresh seafood? This simple but flavorful recipe for Brazilian Fish Stew is easy to make and takes about 25-30 minutes, perfect for warm nights on the patio. Brazilians call this dish Moqueca ( pronounced mo-KEY-ca) and it varies a bit from region to region. This version hails from Salvador, a bustling city on the coast of Brazil, just north of Rio de Janeiro that offers up delicious seafood prepared using African influences and techniques. This part of Brazil is known for pairing fish with spicy chilies, lime and cooling coconut milk, a lovely combination.
Quick enough for weeknights, and special enough for Sunday supper….either way, I think you will like it. Serve it with rice or a simple green salad, or both.
Onion, garlic and sweet peppers are sautéed until tender before fresh tomatoes, coconut milk and stock are added to pan to create a flavorful braising liquid for the fish. The fish is simply nestled into the stew and cooked for a few minutes until it’s done. Here I’ve used halibut, a delicious pairing, but feel free to use wild Alaskan cod, sea bass, black cod or any other white fish that will hold its shape. Even shrimp or shellfish (clams or mussels) would work well here. I was also thinking that crispy seasoned tofu filets would taste great too!
This week I partnered with Lagostina who were kind enough to send me a set of their new Luminosa cookware set to try out. Upon first look, I immediately liked their classic design and beautiful hammered lids. High quality stainless steel is used throughout, offering up even cooking, durability and a pure clean surface to cook on. I also really appreciate the stay-cool handles. Another plus is that they can go from stove to, to oven, and to table- always a nice feature. One of my pet peeves is when lids don’t have a good seal – these are perfectly snug, holding moisture in well. All in all, a beautifully crafted line of stainless steel cookware.
To start, marinate the fish in a mixture of garlic, lime and jalapeño.
For mild heat, use half a jalapeño, for medium heat, use a whole one. Coat the fish well with garlic, salt and lime juice and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet.
Cook the onion and garlic until tender and deliciously fragrant.
Add the sweet peppers ( or use red or yellow bell peppers) and continue cooking until they are tender, about 8 minutes.
Add fresh tomatoes, either diced larger varieties or halved cherry tomatoes. Add the coconut milk and stock. Bring this to a simmer, and let it cook and thicken just a few minutes. Taste and adjust salt.
Nestle the fish in the coconut stew, pouring the remaining marinade over the fish and into the stew, and either continue cooking stove top, spooning the flavorful liquid over the fish for about 3-5 minutes ( until desired doneness) or for thicker cuts, place in a 350F oven, for 8-10 minutes.
Once done, the stew will have thickened beautifully. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro or Italian parsley and serve with a wedge of lime.
We enjoyed this with a simple green salad, dressed with lemon, olive oil and salt.
For heartier appetites, or if entertaining, perhaps offer up cilantro rice. Crusty bread makes a nice vehicle for left-over pan juices. Trust me, you won’t want to waste this.
Hope you are having a delicious summer!Print
Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca
Summery Brazilian Fish Stew (aka Moqueca) with coconut milk, lime and jalapeño – a summery seafood dish, perfect for alfresco dining! | www.feastingathome.com
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Braise
- Cuisine: South American
- 1 pound white fish- halibut, wild Alaskan Cod, Black cod, Sea Bass ( or try with shell fish)
- 1/ 2 jalapeno – finely diced ( or add a whole one for medium spicy)
- 2 garlic cloves- finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- one lime- zest and juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil (or use Dende – Brazillian Red Palm oil for the best flavor!)
- ½ an onion- finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves- rough chopped
- 6–8 ounces small sweet peppers ( or one large red or yellow bell pepper)
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes ( or use regular tomatoes)
- ¾ cup coconut milk ( liquid and solids)
- ¾ cup fish or chicken stock
- ½ cup chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
- drizzle of olive oil- optional
Serve with rice
Rinse and pat dry the fish and cut into four pieces. Place in a bowl. Add garlic, salt, jalapeño, zest from half the lime and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Massage lightly to coat all pieces well. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add peppers and sauté until tender, about 7-8 minutes, stirring often.
Add tomatoes, coconut milk and stock. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Taste broth and add salt if necessary.
Nestle the fish in the saute pan along with the rest of the marinating juices. Spoon the flavorful coconut broth over the fish and cook until desired doneness, 4-5 minutes, or longer for thicker pieces. ( You can also finish in a 350F oven).
To serve, sprinkle with cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you like.
Serve with rice or crusty bread to mop up all the juices.