Brazilian Fish Stew Recipe (Moqueca Baiana)

Moqueca Baiana is a rich seafood stew from Brazil also known as Brazilian fish stew. It is like the Asian equivalent of a Curry. However, It is not made from a spice paste base. This recipe derives from the Afro Brazilian culture in Brazil. The Moqueca Baiana originated from the state of Bahia but this version we bring you today is the Afro-Brazilian version. There’s also Moqueca Capixaba from Espirito Santo which uses tomato puree and annatto. However, unlike this Moqueca, the Moqueca Capixaba lacks the key ingredient of Palm oil. Palm oil is the key ingredient in this dish that gives it its unique and succulent taste

Brazilian Fish Stew Recipe (Moqueca Baiana)

Brazilian fish stew

Moqueca Baiana

Usually, when you think of Brazil you think of carnival and grilled meats. Little did you know that Brazil also ruled supreme when it comes to seafood dishes. The abundance of colour and flavour in this dish is like having a Rio festival on your plate and in your mouth. Full of life, warmth, and comfort, this dish is the perfect way to lift your spirits and get you ready to party!.

Brazilian Fish Stew Recipe (Moqueca Baiana)

Although this dish will suit an array of seafood, for a first-time attempt, it is best to use a firm white fish. For instance, the fish used in this recipe is sea bass. Firm fish such as sea bass compliment this dish more simply because they can hold their shape better during the cooking process. Having larger chunks of fish is perfect because you can taste its flavour alongside the rest of the ingredients. It is this combination that pulls it all together.

The base of the broth is coconut milk. Although it is easy to think that this ingredient will make this dish very strong and rich in flavor, you are wrong. Like the palm oil, the other essential ingredient in this dish is lime. The lime brilliantly cuts through the richness of the coconut giving it the perfect balance. However, if you are a big coconut milk lover, feel free to stir in 1 or 2 tbsp. of coconut oil at the end for extra flavour! Serve alongside rice for a Knockout a meal.

If this dish has got your taste buds tingling for some seafood or a cuisine inspired by another culture or country head over to Chefxchange. For a taste of another continent, have a read of our Shrimp In Thai Coconut Sauce Recipe.  Coconut lovers are sure to love it! If this Moqueca stew also hit the right spot, you are guaranteed to like this recommendation too.

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Moqueca Baiana
  1. Wash fish under running water and pat dry. Season with salt, garlic and lime juice, and marinate for 1hr
  2. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the grated onion and cook for a few seconds.
  3. Add the marinated fish along with the juicy built from its margination to the pan and cook for a few minutes until cook through but still nice and tender
  4. Add the palm oil, onion slices, coconut milk and water; simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the peppers, tomatoes, coriander and spring onion; cover and cook for another 5 minutes
  6. Serve hot with white or brown rice
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