Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca Recipe

Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca Seafood

How to make Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca

Brazilian cuisine is widely known for its vibrant and flavourful dishes. One such dish is the traditional Brazilian fish stew, Moqueca. It hails from the coastal state of Bahia in eastern Brazil and is made with a variety of seafood, vegetables, and spices. This flavorful dish is a favorite among Brazilians, and for good reason.

Moqueca typically features the freshest catch of the day, which is then marinated in lime juice and spices like garlic, coriander, and red pepper. The seafood is then cooked in coconut milk along with onions, tomatoes, and peppers, which gives the dish its distinct flavor. This perfect blend of spices and flavors makes Moqueca a dish that is enjoyed by many and appreciated for its richness and complexity.


Prep time: 2 hours

Cook time: 45 minutes

Portion count in recipe: 6 servings

Calories per serving: approximately 400 calories


For marinade:

  • ½ head of garlic (cloves peeled and minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 ½ teaspoons dried cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the fish stew:

  • 900 g salmon fillet, cut into slices
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced ​​into half rings
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into wedges
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 gr coconut milk
  • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped



Step 1:

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over the salmon cut into large slices. Cover with cling film and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, but if time permits, overnight is best.

Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca


Step 2: 

Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of a goose or cauldron and lay out a layer of chopped onions, then a layer of chopped bell peppers, and a layer of sliced ​​​​tomatoes. Put the marinated fish fillet on top, and on top of it again a layer of onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca


Step 3:

Season the top layer of tomatoes generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle with half the chopped cilantro. Pour in the coconut milk and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Step 4:

Place the open stew over medium heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables are fully cooked. A couple of minutes before full readiness, add the remaining cilantro, remove the stew from the heat, and serve. Bon Appetit!

Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 350-400
Protein: 30-35g
Fat: 15-20g
Carbohydrates: 20-25g
Fiber: 4-6g
Sodium: 500-600mg

Health Benefits

The ingredients in Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca provide a wide range of health benefits. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and seafood can help to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut milk is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. The vegetables and spices used in the dish provide important antioxidants that can help to protect the body against oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Tips for Making Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca

Making Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca is relatively easy and straightforward. Here are some tips to help you make a delicious and authentic version of this classic Brazilian dish:

  • Use fresh fish and seafood: The fresher the fish and seafood, the better the stew will taste. Look for sustainable and locally caught fish and seafood if possible.
  • Use dendê oil (palm oil) if available: Dendê oil is an essential ingredient in moqueca, as it gives the stew its characteristic orange color and nutty flavor. If you can’t find dendê oil, you can substitute it with regular vegetable oil.
  • Use aromatics: The onions, garlic, and peppers used in the dish provide important flavor and aroma. Don’t skimp on these ingredients, as they are essential to the dish’s success.
  • Cook the stew slowly: To allow the flavors to meld and develop, it’s best to cook the stew slowly over low heat for at least 30-40 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and farofa: Moqueca is traditionally served with rice and farofa, a toasted cassava flour mixture that adds a crunchy texture to the dish.


In conclusion:

There are two types of Moqueca, one cooked in a traditional clay pot, and the other in a regular pot. A traditional clay pot or a panela de barro is the preferred method in Bahia. Whether cooked in a clay or regular pot, Moqueca is a meal that is prepared with love and patience. As the ingredients simmer, the fragrant and enticing aroma fills the kitchen, making everyone eager to try the dish.

Moqueca is perfect for sharing among family and friends. The combination of soft, tender fish, and the creaminess of the coconut milk sauce, creates an irresistible and comforting meal. It is not just the taste that makes Moqueca special; it is the experience of sharing it with loved ones and celebrating the rich culture and history of Brazil.

In a country the size of Brazil, it is only fitting that the cuisine reflects the diversity and culture found within. Moqueca is a wonderful representation of the country’s cuisine and hospitality, and it showcases the wealth of ingredients and spices that make it unique. Whether you are in Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, or anywhere else in Brazil, Moqueca is a staple dish that is sure to provide a satisfying, delicious, and unforgettable meal.


Other dishes with fish.

Mcalister’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Chicken Rosa Marina Soup Recipe

Rate article
kitchen background
Add a comment

By clicking “I agree”, I’m agreeing to this website and accept the privacy policy.