Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

Moqueca de Peixe - Brazilian Fish Stew

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  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
542 Calories
40g Fat
18g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 542
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 52%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 122mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Protein 31g
Calcium 75mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Brazilians enjoy many versions of moquecas, or stews, from different regions of the country. This colorful and tropical fish stew is typical of Bahia, and is flavored with coconut milk and palm oil. Serve it with rice, farofa de dendê, and fried plantains. Palm oil (dendê oil) adds a special authentic flavor to this dish. You can find palm oil at Brazilian markets and online.


  • 1 1/2 pounds grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi, salmon, or monkfish
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper (sliced thinly)
  • 1 green pepper (sliced thinly)
  • 1 large onion (sliced thinly)
  • 2 tomatoes (sliced thinly)
  • 4 to 5 green onions (white and green parts, finely chopped)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chile pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the fish into bite-size pieces and place the pieces in a ziplock bag. Add the lime juice, salt, ground pepper, and minced garlic. Marinate the fish for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large sauté pan. Layer half of the peppers, half of the tomatoes, and half of the onions over the bottom of the pan.

  4. Cover the vegetables with the fish and the marinade.

  5. Layer the rest of the peppers, onions, and tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with the chopped green onions and half of the chopped cilantro.

  6. Whisk the paprika and the chile pepper into the coconut milk, and pour the mixture over the vegetables and fish.

  7. Drizzle the vegetables with the palm oil.

  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for 25 minutes more, or until vegetables are well-cooked and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Sprinkle the rest of the chopped cilantro over the hot stew. Serve with rice, toasted manioc meal (farofa de dende) and fried plantains.

  10. Enjoy!