Brazilian Seafood Stew: Moqueca

Now that it is cooling down it is time for some soups! I love soup season.

This is a very simplified version of a complex dish that is daily fare in Brazil. Feel free to add other seafood. I added squid last time, which I have been craving. Slice into circles and just treat it like the fish and shrimp.

We found red palm oil (dende oil) on sale at New Seasons. A jar in the refrigerator lasts a long time.

This is a nightshade rich dish! If you are sensitive to them, leave out the peppers and tomatoes and double up on the ginger, onions and black pepper. A pinch each of ground coriander and cumin will create a lovely taste profile.


  • 1 lb sturdy white fish, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled (I prefer the heads on)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small onion half sliced/ half chopped
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fat
  • 5 tablespoons dendê oil (it gives the vibrant Bahian hue)
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 sliced yellow bell pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1: Toss fish, shrimp, lemon juice, half the garlic, half the onion and some salt and pepper in a bowl Make sure the chunks of fish are completely covered by the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (this step can be done in the morning & the fish would be ready when you get home)

2: Heat fat in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic, onion, ginger and cook until fragrant. Add the palm oil.

3: Toss in the peppers and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add in the diced tomatoes.

4: Stir in coconut milk, and palm oil and gently bring to a boil.

5: Add fish and shrimp to pot; cook until just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Stir in cilantro season with salt and pepper. Serve with collard greens sauteed with garlic. Yum!