Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian seafood stew that’s gained popularity worldwide due to its unique blend of flavors and cultural significance.

With roots that can be traced back to the indigenous Tupi-Guarani people who inhabited what are now the states of Espírito Santo and Bahia this dish is a representation of Brazil's diverse cultural heritage and culinary traditions.  Influenced by indigenous, African, and European influences, moqueca is prepared with a combination of seafood, vegetables, coconut milk, and spices, making it a perfect dish for seafood lovers.

Ladle up a generous bowl and enjoy with a Caipirinha for a taste of Brazil!

What you’ll need:

The Fish

  •  1 1/2  pounds catfish or other firm white fish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • one lime- zest and juice

Stew/ Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons dende oil or coconut oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves- rough chopped
  • 2 habanero , finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup fish or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh seeded diced tomatoes
  • 14 ounces of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro & scallions
  • squeeze of lime
  • Cooked rice
  • Crusty bread (for broth sopping)

How to make it happen:

Rinse the fish, pat dry, cut into 2 inch pieces and place in a non reactive bowl.  Next add salt, zest from half the lime, and 1 tablespoon lime juice then gently turn the fish to coat all pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap and keep cool.

In a large saute pan, heat the dende oil over medium high heat then add the onion, carrots, bell pepper and salt sautéing for 4-5 minutes until the onions are soft. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and Habanero cooking 2-3 minutes.

Add tomato paste, spices and stock then combine, bring to a simmer, add the tomatoes then and simmer gently on medium low for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Add the coconut milk, taste and add more salt if necessary.  Next gently place the fish in the stew and simmer gently until it’s cooked through, about 6 minutes.  

Serve over rice, squeeze with lime,  sprinkle with cilantro and scallions drizzle with a little dende oil if you like.

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