(Brazilian fish and coconut milk stew)
Moqueca, sometimes spelled muqueca, is a simple yet tasty Brazilian seafood stew from Bahia state. As with many of the dishes of Bahia, moqueca shows strong African roots.
4 to 6 servings
- White-fleshed fish, cut into chunks -- 1 1/2 pounds
- Limes, juice only -- 2
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- Oil -- 2 tablespoons
- Onion, diced -- 2
- Bell peppers, diced -- 2
- Garlic, minced -- 2 or 3 cloves
- Chile (malagueta) peppers, minced -- 1 to 3
- Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced -- 3 cups
- Coconut milk -- 2 cups
- Dendê, or red palm oil (optional) -- 2 tablespoons
- Toss the fish, lime juice and salt together in a large, non-reactive bowl and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium flame. Add the onions and peppers and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and chile peppers and sauté for another minute more.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for about 5 more minutes to cook them down somewhat.
- Stir in the coconut milk and the fish with its marinade. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
- Adjust seasoning, stir in dendê oil if using and serve in bowls alone or over rice.
- Moqueca de Camarão (Shrimp moqueca): Substitute shrimp for the fish. A very popular variation.
- Use any type of seafood you like: crab, mussels, lobster.
- For a lighter stew, substitute water or stock for 1 cup of the coconut milk.