Moqueca – An adaptable and delicious Brazilian Fish Stew

Moqueca or Brazilian Fish Stew is now on dinner rotation at our house. I served it here with Mexican corn and Chips and Guac

Thanks to a recent delivery from Sitka Salmon Shares our freezer was stocked with an entire box of wild Alaskan cod. For those in search of excellent seafood from local Alaskan fishermen, consider joining this fish share. It’s the second season we’re doing it, I love not having to worry about where our fish is coming from, supporting local farmers and now the added benefit of contactless delivery. The fish is sushi grade quality and has forced me to cook with varieties I might not have necessarily picked up at the store.

Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian fish stew made with fish and a combination of onions, garlic, tomatoes which all get braised in coconut milk. Some recipes call for adding shellfish but this version is delicious without. Feel free to adapt the vegetables and spices to your liking. I like serving the stew over a base of garlic rice for a one dish meal or just serve with a crusty loaf of bread. I love dishes like this that use surprising new flavor combinations but using ingredients you most likely already have at home. Both kids are already asking for me to make it again, the true sign of a good recipe.

Moqueca - Brazilian Fish Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Try serving stew with a big pot of garlic rice, both recipes below


    For Stew:
  • 1 1/2 lbs firm white fish like cod or halibut, rinsed in cold water and cut into large pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tbs lime juice
  • A generous amount of Kosher salt an freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tbs of coconut oil (olive oil is fine too)
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow and 1 small red pepper seeded and thinly sliced (I used shishito peppers because that’s all I had and it worked great)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbs sweet Hungarian paprika
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • Large bunch of cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (for garnish)
  • For Rice:
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (olive oil is fine too)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water (or check rice package for cooking instructions)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt


  1. Place pieces of fish in a large non reactive bowl, add mince garlic and lime juice. Season generously with salt and pepper. Chill while preparing rice.
  2. If serving rice, heat 1 tbs of coconut oil in a medium pot, add chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the chopped garlic and saute 1 min more until garlic is fragrant. Add rice, salt and stir to coat with onions and garlic. Add water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve with stew.
  3. In a large stock pot or dutch oven heat 1-2 tbs of coconut or olive oil. Add sliced onions and cook for a few minutes, add peppers, paprika and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook until peppers begin to soften. Stir in chopped tomatoes and bring to a low simmer, approximately 5 mins.
  4. Add fish to pot along with marinating juices, nestling underneath the vegetables. Pour coconut milk over fish and vegetables. Bring stew to a simmer, reduce heat and cover for an additional 15 mins. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving, you may need to add more salt, paprika or red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve over rice and top with cilantro and green onions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.