A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish and simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice!
(photos by Simply Suwanee!)
This simple recipe for Brazilian Fish Stew is easy to make and takes about 25-30 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights! Brazilians call this dish Moqueca (pronounced “mo-KEY-ca”) and it can vary 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.
What I love wbout this Brazillian stew is how simple it is, and how quick it is to make!
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.
It starts with seasoning the fish. Use black cod, halibut, sea bass, wild cod, escolar or any white fish ( or shrimp) you like.
Even shrimp or shellfish (clams or mussels) would work well here.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and salt, and sauté 2-3 minutes.
Turn heat down to medium, add carrot, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno and cook 4-5 more minutes.
Add tomato paste, spices and stock.
Mix and bring to a simmer and add tomatoes.
Cover and simmer gently on medium low for 5 mintues or until carrots are tender.
Add the coconut milk and taste and add more salt if necessary.
Nestle the fish in the flavorful 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 and rice.
Crusty bread makes a nice vehicle for left-over pan juices. Trust me, you won’t want to waste this.
Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
Happy week friends!
Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca
Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca) with coconut milk, lime and jalapeño – a flavorful seafood stew that can be made in iunder 30 mintues.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Braise
- Cuisine: South American
- 1 – 1 1/2 pounds firm white fish- Halibut, Black Cod, Sea Bass ( thicker cuts are best)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- one lime- zest and juice
- 2–3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil (or use Dende – Brazillian Red Palm oil for the best flavor!)
- 1 onion- finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves- rough chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup fish or chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced ( preferably fresh)
- 1 14 ounce can coconut milk ( liquid and solids)
- more salt to taste
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, scallions or Italian parsley
- squeeze of lime
- Rinse and pat dry the fish and cut into 2 inch peices. Place in a bowl. Add salt, 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 salt, and sauté 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add carrot, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno and cook 4-5 more minutes. Add tomato paste, spices and stock. Mix and bring to a simmer and add tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently on medium low for 5 mintues or until carrots are tender.
- Add the coconut milk and taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Nestle the fish in the stew and simmer gently until it’s cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Spoon the flavorful coconut broth over the fish and cook until desired doneness or longer for thicker pieces. ( You can also finish this in a 350F oven).
- Taste and adjust salt and squeeze with lime.
- To serve, serve over rice, sprinkle with cilantro or scallions 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.