Moqueca (Brazillian Fish Stew)

I love discovering new dishes. I don’t mean adding ravioli to a laksa broth kinda way (yes, under lockdown, anything goes), but more new new dishes. Things I have never heard off until instagram expanded my foodie horizon. This recipe below is a dish I came across from god-know-who’s account and it is good enough that I wrote my rendition of it after an a slightly unreasonable amount of recipe comparisons and delving into the dish’s history. Don’t let the simple ingredients fool you. Tomatoes, lime juice, coconut milk, paprika and capsicum do a samba that is worth trying in this fish stew (one of the most popular dishes in Brazil).


Serves 3

adapted from


  • 260g firm fish fillets, cut into large chunks (use up to 400g if you prefer. I don’t eat a lot of dish hence the stingy looking amount).
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (traditionally, red palm oil is used)
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tin tomato
  • 4 tbsp coconut cream (or use 1/2 cup coconut milk and reduce the amount of fish stock used)
  • 1 capsicum, sliced into 1cm thick rings
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional). Cumin is not usually used in Moqueca but I added it to give a bit of extra flavouring
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • good handful coriander
  • 1 tbsp salt (to taste)


  1. Heat oil in a claypot or saucepan and fry onions for 3 mins. Add spring onions and garlic and fry for another 2 mins, then add red pepper flakes, paprika, bay leaf and cumin (if using).
  2. Mix well then add tomatoes and fish stock and simmer for 20 mins, partially covering the pot with the lid.
  3. Add coconut milk, capsicum, lime juice, salt and stew for 15 min then add fish and cover the pot for 10 mins.
  4. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander.
  5. Serve with white rice.

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