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! Video.

Looking for more? Check out  50+ Best Fish Recipes!  and  50+ Easy Dinner Ideas!

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

This simple recipe for Brazilian Fish Stew is easy to make and takes about 35 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 about this Brazillian Fish 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 this recipe for Moqueca. Serve it with rice or a simple green salad, or both!

We have several other popular fish stews on the blog all super delicious; Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada)Sea Bass with Cannellini Bean Stew and Peruvian Seafood Stew with Cilantro Broth


How to make Moqueca! | 45-second video


A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

What is Moqueca?

Moqueca is a Brazillian Fish stew with coconut milk, tomatoes and peppers. It’s traditionally served over rice with lime and cilantro.

Ingredients in Moqueca:

  •  White fish- Halibut, Black Cod, Sea Bass , Cod, escolar, etc.  (thicker cuts are best)
  •  Dende – Brazillian Red Palm oil ( or coconut oil)
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • red bell pepper
  • garlic
  • chili peppers
  • tomato paste
  • spices
  •  fish or chicken stock
  • Tomatoes
  •  coconut milk ( liquid and solids)
  • Lime

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!

The best firm fish for soups or stews:

You generally want to use firm white fish for most stews and soups, because they will hold their shape and not disintegrate in the liquid. Here are 10 the best fish (and seafood) to use in soups and stews.

  1. sea bass
  2. halibut
  3. black cod
  4. haddock
  5. escolar
  6. ono
  7. red snapper
  8. salmon
  9. scallops
  10. shrimp

Where to find the best fish!

If looking for a good source of wild-caught, sustainably-raised fish or seafood with no antibiotics, I highly recommend Seatopia!

How to make Moqueca

It starts with seasoning the fish. Use black cod, halibut, sea bass, black cod, escolar or any firm white fish ( or shrimp) you like.

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

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 pepper and cook 4-5 more minutes.

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

Add tomato paste, spices and stock.

Mix and bring to a simmer and add tomatoes.

Cover and simmer gently on medium-low for 5 minutes 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 stovetop, spooning the flavorful liquid over the fish for about 3-5 minutes ( until the desired doneness)  or for thicker cuts, place in a 350F oven, for 8-10 minutes.

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

Once done, the Moqueca will have thickened beautifully.

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro or Italian parsley and serve with a wedge of lime.

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

We enjoyed this with a simple green salad, dressed with lemon, olive oil and salt and rice.

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

Crusty bread makes a nice vehicle for left-over pan juices. Trust me, you won’t want to waste this! So much flavor!

A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

Please let me know what you think of this Moqueca Recipe in the comments below!

You may also like:

Happy week friends!

xoxo

 

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A simple Brazilian Fish Stew called Moqueca made with your choice of fish, simmered in coconut milk with onion, tomatoes, chilies and lime. Easy, fast and full of flavor! Serve this with rice! #Moqueca #fishstew #brazilianfishstew

Brazilian Fish Stew – Moqueca

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 218 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: South American

Description

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca) with coconut milk, lime and jalapeño – a flavorful seafood stew that the whole family will love.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Fish:

  • 11 1/2 pounds firm white fish- Halibut, Black Cod, Sea Bass ( thicker cuts are best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • one lime- zest and juice

Stew/ Sauce:

  • 23 tablespoons coconut or olive oil (or use Dende – Brazillian Red Palm oil for the best flavor!)
  • 1 onion- finely diced ( red, white or yellow)
  • 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 ground cumin (or whole seed)
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, scallions or Italian parsley
  • squeeze of lime

Serve over cilantro rice,  basmati rice, black rice or everyday quinoa.


Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the coconut milk and taste and add more salt if necessary.
  4. 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).
  5. Taste and adjust salt and squeeze with lime.
  6. To serve, serve over rice, sprinkle with cilantro or scallions and a squeeze of lime.
  7. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you like.

Notes

Serve with rice or crusty bread to mop up all the juices.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 ounces
  • Calories: 290
  • Sugar: 4.2 g
  • Sodium: 429.9 mg
  • Fat: 17.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 23.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 50.1 mg

SaveSave

SaveSave

Share this with the world!

Subscribe
to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Comments

  1. This is an AMAZING recipe. I used ghee instead of oil and clam juice instead of stock and also added clams. Thank you SO much! Abrigado!

    1. Hi Walter- are you cooking off the recipe card? Scroll to the bottom of the post. 🙂

  2. Moqueca is one of our favorite recipes! I made it over the weekend, and raved about it to my friends. So, two of them made the recipe yesterday! They love it!






  3. Is there any way to make this ahead? Or perhaps make the stew ahead and put the fish in right before serving?






  4. Been making this for a long time! Easy, refreshing, spicy, healthy and ALL my grown children love it. My vegetarians to my burger lovers. That’s a first!






  5. Fabulous! I have made this twice in the past 6 weeks for company and it was a hit both times. I doubled the recipe, using just over 2 lbs of halibut and doubled everything except the coconut milk. It was great! And I especaily love that I can prepare everything in advance- my new priority for when I have dinner guests. This moqueca over rice, a salad and a loaf of bread. Perfect meal A keeper.






  6. Your fabulous stew and my local fishmonger’s ready supply of fish pieces has gone down so well with the family, we have it at least once a week.
    I now make a large pan of the stew, freeze it in meal sized portions (about 10 servings), and defrost and add and cook the fish as required.

  7. I’ve made this a few times and love it – I have just returned from a holiday in Brazil, where I ate loads of Moqueca -I particularly loved it with Plantain. Should I leave out the fish all together and do a veggie version with Hearts of Palm – either way can you advise how long the plantain takes to cook???

    1. It is worth a try Nicki! Sounds good! If cooking with ripe plantains, perhaps just about a 10-minute simmer near the end.

  8. Delicious and easy to make. I omitted carrot/jalapeno and used red pepper flakes instead. Also used parsley that was added as stew was simmering.






  9. This was fabulous- a great company dish. I love a dish that I can mostly prep ahead of time and just spend 5 minutes on the finishing touches when the guests arrive. This is one of those and everyone loved it. I splurged and used fresh halibut and I think that makes a difference. I used just over 2 lobs of fish for a double recipe. It was worth all the chopping of those veggies!






  10. I made this recipe before and loved it as did the family. There wasn’t any left but if there had been, can the leftovers be frozen?
    If you mentioned this already, sorry I didn’t see it.
    Thanks!!
    Fernando

  11. I made this for my husband and two of our friends tonight. Recipe for 4 was plenty and even a little left over. I sautéed the vegetables in coconut oil, used fresh halibut, which was mild enough to let the flavors of the stew shine and ladled it over Brazilian sofrito scented Jasmine rice and a hot loaf of Cuban bread.
    I made a baked feta appetizer with blistered green olives & sun dried tomatoes. Our guests brought grilled shoshito peppers and we had that course with crostini.
    I served a simple salad of hearts of palm, red onion, cucumber, avocado, tomato and arugula dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.
    For dessert I made a vanilla panna cotta with a raspberry gelee topped with fresh raspberries and served it in a martini glass, accompanied by a bit of chocolate chip granola and shortbread cookies.
    But because it’s still 92 degrees here in the south, and the star of the menu was the Brazilian fish stew, I also made a pitcher of ice cold Brazilian lemonade to hand to the guests when they came in.
    Fabulous meal. I’ll make this one often!






  12. I tried the Seatopia link, but the code for $25 off the first box didn’t work, got an invalid message. I would love to try Seatopia if we can get the code to work. Any ideas?

    1. Oh shoot Tad! Ok- Thanks for pointing that out. I have emailed them and removed the link for now. It had expired, but I will see what I can do to get a new one and let you know, if you give me a week or so? Headed up your way, for a mini vacation! Can’t wait!

Our Latest Recipes