An impressive and easy Brazilian fish stew, moqueca can use any fish you have on hand and is flavored with coconut milk and bright lime zest.
This week, we explored all sorts of countries, including China, Italy, Iran and Korea!
Moqueca also called moqueca capixaba is a vibrant fish stew that couldn't be easier to make
Today's final stop is Brazil with their mouth watering moqueca aka Brazilian fish stew. You can use any local fish you have on hand for this moqueca recipe, coconut milk and peppers and tomatoes, a quick simmer and this beautiful Brazilian fish stew is served. Squeeze fresh lime juice and serve with rice and you have a gorgeous moqueca!
Some interesting facts: Brazil has a very strong Jewish population and actually has the 9th largest Jewish population in the world! And because it is in the Southern Hemisphere, Hanukkah actually falls at the beginning of summer and not late in winter like it is in North America.
Watch how easy it is to make Moqueca!
Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)
- 2 Tb coconut oil
- Olive oil for drizzling
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeds removed and sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper seeds removed and sliced
- 1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed if too spicy
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of cayenne
- ½ lb cod cut into large 1-2 inch pieces
- ½ lb sea bass cut into large 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 large tomato chopped (or 1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes)
- 2 cups vegetable or fish stock
- 1 can coconut milk full fat
- 1 lime zested + lime cut into wedges
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Green onions chopped for garnish
- ½ yellow onion chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove chopped finely
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Green onions chopped for garnish
- In a large pot, add coconut oil and a drizzle of olive oil. On medium heat, saute chopped onion, bell peppers and jalapeno until lightly soft, about 5-8 minutes. Then add chopped garlic, paprika and cayenne and stir to combine, for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes with their juice and stir everything together, cooking for another 1-2 minutes so the tomato juice can evaporate a bit.
- Pat dry the fish very well with a pepper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay the fish down on top of the vegetables and pour the vegetable stock and coconut milk. Add lime zest and season with salt and pepper,
- Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes on medium-low heat or until the fish is fully cooked.
- While stew is cooking, make the rice: In a small pot, saute chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until lightly caramelized. Then add jasmine rice and stir to coat so onion and olive oil are evenly distributed through the rice.
- Add vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring rice to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.
- Fluff rice with a fork and garnish with chopped green onions.
- To serve, either spoon stew on top of rice or have rice on the side. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro and chopped green onions.
Happy last day of Hanukkah and thank you for celebrating this worldly journey with me! And as the Latin's say... Feliz Hanukkah!
And please check out where we traveled to through the week....Where should we go to next year?
8 Days of Hanukkah around the world:
Day 1- China: Chinese Beef Stew
Day 2- Peru: Yucca Latkes
Day 3- Poland: Polish Poppyseed Cake
Day 4- Iran : Adas Polow
Day 5- Italy: Osso Buco
Day 6- Korea : Pajeon
Day 7 - Ukraine: Red and Yellow Beet Soup with Fried Beet Greens
If you love seafood stews as much as I do, check out these recipes.
Thai Fish Curry from Belly Full
Fisherman's Stew with Tilapia, Shrimp, Tomatoes and Capers by Cookin' Canuck
And if you're looking for other hearty stews, try my Sancocho recipe.
Printing this recipe off to make soon, looks divine!!
Made this tonight. It was amazing! I wish there was a bit more fish. Also next time I might slice snap peas and garnish with cilantro. But otherwise very yummy!
Snap peas would be a great idea!!! Thanks Emily!
Yummy! I would slice snap peas and garnish with cilantro next time. If also add a bit more fish. But otherwise very good!
We just had this, it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
Hi. I just cook the stew, it is delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
I really want to make this, but I don't know which coconut milk to buy. My store has 3 cans, all labeled simply as coconut milk. Do I choose the can with the most fat, and barely shakes when shaken, or one of the cans that shake like milk?? I've never bought or used coconut milk before...help! lol
Hi Sherry!! My store has several types of coconut milk and honestly I always look on the ingredients and make sure it only ha coconut milk (maybe some water too). The brands I use are Thai and Arroy-D and I see those in the stores most often. Depending how cold it is, the can may not shake much because the fat settles, which is fine..its just separating the coconut milk fat from the coconut water. In some recipes you may use just the coconut milk part...I always keep a few cans in the cupboard because I love adding coconut milk to curries!! Let me know if that helps and how it goes 🙂
Christina Rosette says
Made this recipe after I had bookmarked it for some time now.So easy to follow and delicious to eat. like my husband says a keeper for sure. I made it with cod and some Argentinian pink shrimp which I added 5 minutes before serving.Following the advice I saw in the review s I also added a few snow peas.
Thanks for the comment Christina!! It is such a delicious stew!!
You mentioned it has tomatoes and the simply recipes site has tomatoes in theirs, just wondering where they are in yours, looks amazing, I am making it tonight!
Hi Heather!! Ahh..thanks so much for seeing that silly mistake I did. Just added the tomatoes in the recipe with instructions. Hope you make it soon..its so good and so easy 🙂
Made it and it was amazing! So good! Thanks!
Amy @Belly Full says
That is one gorgeous bowl of food!
Thank you so much Amy!
Just found this recipe on Pinterest. I want to make it tomorrow, however, I'm a bit confused about the amount of fish. One page says: 1 2lbs of cod and 1 2lbs of Seabass. When you go to The Make it page, the recipe says 1/2lb Cod and 1/2lb of Seabass. Please which is it?
Hi Margaret! Sometimes Pinterest pulls the recipe a little oddly. My original recipe has half pound of cod and a half pound of seabass, but honestly..you could use ANY fish you have, but have about a pounds worth. Other suggestions would be halibut, shrimp and even salmon! Have fun cooking..it's such an easy recipe...have fun with it!
What size can of coconut milk?
13.6 oz sized can!
Stampp Corbin says
Cilantro is required to make this truly authentic...otherwise great recipe!
Thank you for the tip! That would be a lovely addition!
Best fish soup ever!
Thank you Klaudia!
How well does this stew re-heat? I'd be the only one in my household that would eat this but it sound super yummy to me; however, making an entire pot of fish stew that only I can enjoy and not being able to re-heat it isn't really worth the effort... Just sayin...
Hi Allis! I probably wouldn't recommend reheating it more than once because fish is so sensitive and can overcook so easily. Or my idea would be to make the stew and keep it, but add fresh fish when you reheat?
I served this and peoples eyes got round with delight. I used just cod, added cilantro and a few capers.
Samantha, you are a genius of the highest order.
Hi Charlie! Capers is genius!! I never even thought of that but I am sure the brineness is a nice touch.
This is a fantastic "make ahead" recipe! I made the stew base the day ahead and bought the fish the day I served it. My book club loved it and many of them asked for the recipe. The next night when my husband and I were enjoying the leftovers, I realized the rice could be made ahead as well then reheated in the microwave.
We are trying this dish this weekend for sure. Yummy! Thanks for posting!!
Excellent recipe - thanks for sharing! I made this for the first time tonight and loved it - even your rice recipe was very tasty! Is there a big difference in the taste when using vegetable stock vs fish? I had to use vegetable since I didn't have anywhere close to get fish stock. Now that I know I enjoy this dish, I may have to order some fish stock somewhere and try it again.
Hi James and thank you so much for the lovely comment! I do think vegetable stock would produce a milder fish flavor but if you enjoy fish, try it! I do like fish stock and use it in other recipes too but maybe try half and half to start.
Kim W. says
Very delicious. I’ve made this several times and love it! Making it again tonight!
Thank you for your comment, Kim! So glad you love the recipe 🙂
Excellent! I shared this recipe with my sisters! I am not a huge fan of bell peppers, so I substituted celery for one of them, it was perfect, almost like a coconut creole sauce (I’m from LA). It’s a quick midweek meal too and the leftovers are delicious too.
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much and love your twists!
Is the fish suppose to flake and fall apart??? I used fresh Atlantic cod. Thsnms
Hi Linda!it depends what fish you are using, but Atlantic cod is a flakey fish and yes, will flake apart. There are other fish you could use if you want a more "firm" texture, such as halibut which stays together very well.
This is one of my favorite recipes. Being from Louisiana, it reminds me of a creole dish but with coconut milk, yum. I cannot handle so much bell pepper, so I substitute celery for 1 of the peppers. I also cook it a bit longer to soften the veg more. I just use water, no stock. Lastly, I only cook the fish for 10 minutes, so it remains firm. The leftovers are wonderful too!
This looks wonderful! Do you have any idea what would happen to the calories if I used lite coconut milk? does the estimated calorie count include the rice? Thank you!
Hi Gina, yes the calorie count does include rice and I would suspect the fat grams would decrease since lite coconut milk has less coconut milk/fat, but that is just a guess!
Thanks for the moqueca recipe.
Hello Samantha! I hope everything is good. Your website is a favorite of mine. Both your recipe and content writing are fantastic. My entire family wanted to eat fish last night, so I tried this dish. They really enjoyed it. Thank you, and keep it up.
Samantha Ferraro says
Thank you for the lovely comment!