Brazilian Fish Stew: Moqueca de Peixe

Moqueca de Peixe
Luca Nebuloni/Flickr
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Brazilians enjoy many versions of moquecas, or stews, from different regions of the country. This colorful and tropical fish stew is typical of Bahia, and is flavored with coconut milk and palm oil. Serve it with rice, farofa de dendê, and fried plantains. Palm oil (dendê oil) adds a special authentic flavor to this dish. You can find palm oil at Brazilian markets and online.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 pounds grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi, salmon, or monkfish
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 green pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 4-5 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon chile pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk

How to Make It

  1. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and place the pieces in a ziplock bag. Add the lime juice, salt, ground pepper, and minced garlic. Marinate the fish for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan. Layer half of the peppers, half of the tomatoes, and half of the onions over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Cover the vegetables with the fish and the marinade.
  4. Layer the rest of the peppers, onions, and tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with the chopped green onions and half of the chopped cilantro.
  1. Whisk the paprika and the chile pepper into the coconut milk, and pour the mixture over the vegetables and fish.
  2. Drizzle the vegetables with the palm oil.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for 25 minutes more, or until vegetables are well-cooked and tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped cilantro over the hot stew. Serve with rice, toasted manioc meal (farofa de dende) and fried plantains.