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! With a 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

(photos by Simply Suwanee!

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 this recipe for Moqueca. Serve it with rice or a simple green salad, or both.


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!   Use this link and the code FEASTINGATHOME  for $25 off your first box. Yes, this is an affiliate link- we are partnered- but know I use them and highly recommend as far as quality and their sourcing.

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!

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Happy week friends!

xoxo

 

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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

  • 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

Scale

Fish:

  • 11 1/2  pounds firm white fish- Halibut, Black Cod, Sea Bass  ( thicker cuts are best)
  • ½ 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
  • ½ 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:
  • Sugar:
  • Sodium:
  • Fat:
  • Saturated Fat:
  • Trans Fat:
  • Carbohydrates:
  • Fiber:
  • Protein:
  • Cholesterol:

Keywords: Brazilian Fish Stew, Moqueca, Moqueca Recipe, coconut fish stew,

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Comments

  1. OMG, this is an AMAZING dish! I’ve made it twice this week- once with shrimp and cod loin and again with some frozen lobster meat. It’s way to stretch the leftover broth by adding another can of coconut milk and more stock with more seafood. I didn’t have fresh tomatoes either time but the first time I used canned diced tomatoes with chilis and the second time I just used 1/2 4.5oz can chopped green chilis. With the lime, a little salt, and rest of the seasoning, its perfection! Cilantro is also a must if you love the flavor because it goes so well with the lime. Bon appetito!

  2. This was a tremendously yummy recipe. We loved all the flavor combinations. We have lots of halibut from my husband’s Alaskan fishing trip and this is an excellent way to use this light flavorless fish.

  3. The entire family, two teens and two adults, absolutely loved this dish. Made it with chunks of Chilean sea bass. We took another commenters suggestion and used red Thai curry paste, great suggestion because it added some really nice flavor. We did not use cilantro. To cut down on fat we used 2% coconut milk. We used fish stock instead of chicken stock and we used canned tomatoes instead of fresh. We are excited to make this again.

  4. This recipe is great. Though I did change it and I’m glad I did. Most recipes I find me and my husband always end up having to triple the spices.
    For this recipe I used a bunch of mild curry powder. I used my home grown jalapenos which had been dehydrated in and put in a spice jar.
    I didn’t have fresh tomatoes on hand so I used one can of diced tomatoes. I added more chicken stock then it called for and more tomato paste.
    I used 5 cloves instead of 4.
    I did not at cilantro instead added the green onions I’ve been growing. We don’t like cilantro. We are those people who thinks it tastes like soap lol.
    The house smells like my house growing up. My dad is from Jamaica our house always smelled so wonderful growing up.
    Adding the curry powder really made this dish.
    I’m glad I chose that.
    I used cod and just broke it up in the sauce. Serving it over basami rice.

  5. This is so easy but still makes a beautiful presentation for guests. I’ve made it with salmon fillets and with sablefish. Both great. I find the visually prettiest version to be sablefish with red onion, yellow bell pepper, and cilantro sprinkled on top. With the tomatoes, you end up with a gorgeous mix of colors. Thanks for this recipe, now a staple in my rotation.

  6. Had some friends over for dinner tonight and we made this. It was so delicious! Everyone loved it and there were no leftovers. Will definitely be making again.

  7. I’ve cooked so many of your recipes, but this one is by far my favorite. The flavor is addictive, and I love it with some crusty bread!

  8. Definitely a keeper! I skinned the tomatoes and served it with crusty white bread. Delicious! No complaints from anyone!

  9. This was my first time making this and my family rated 41/2 to five stars. I made it with cod fish. I didn’t have fresh tomatoes so I used two cans of rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies. Goes good with rice. Thank you for the recipe. This one is a keeper.

  10. I made this stew and took some over to my Moms house for her to eat later. She called that night and said it was magnificent!!
    My hubby and I loved it too!!
    Thank you for you terrific recipes!

  11. We love this dish. I blend all the ingredients before adding the coconut milk and fish. We have also made with a variety of seafood.

  12. Amazing dish. Easy and fun to make with some music and a glass of wine and so flavourful. Changed 1/2 jalapeño to 1 ghost pepper and regular paprika to smoked paprika and it spiced it up perfectly.

  13. Amazing dish. Easy and fun to make with some music and a glass of wine and so flavourful. Changed jalapeño to 1 ghost pepper and regular paprika to smoked paprika and it spiced it up perfectly.

  14. Followed the recipe to a T (only forgot to add the tomato paste accidentally) I added and added and added salt and was still a tad bit flavorless but good flavor profile. I used scallops and cod so I had to cook a little longer. I chopped up some cilantro to put on top when I served myself. The cilantro took away from the soup by a lot! I regret putting it on. The soup without it was better. I did accidentally forget the tomato paste so I guess the soup didn’t thicken the way it should. I think I will try this again with some modifications.

  15. Awesome recipe. My family loved it. Did find it a little bland for our liking so I added 2 to 3 TBS of red Thai curry paste and it made it amazing. Sets off all the flavours and has a kick. Don’t skip on the fresh chopped cilantro, it makes the dish! Making it for a second time tonight. 🙂

  16. I made this tonight and used catfish filets. I left them whole and cooked it in the oven once it was time to add the fish. We ate it with basmati rice. My men all loved it. Ages 54,18 and 16. We have recently become pescatarians so we are trying lots of new dishes. This was definitely a win!

  17. We loved this recipe! Easy to make, and so flavorful…served together with Brazilian rice, and green salad and croutons, with rice vinegar for the dressing!
    AWESOME

  18. This was really good and had everything but the coconut milk and cilantro- I used coconut oil because I already had it and I bet Brazilian palm Oil is a little hard to find- so I finished it off in the oven and it was delicious!!! I have a friend that married a beautiful Brazilian lady named Rosie and she was very familiar with the recipe and she is going to make some so that I can compare it to what I just made. It was really easy to make and the base tastes a lot like the tortilla soup you get at Panera … however the fish and cilantro take it to the next step!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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