This delicious Brazilian seafood stew, also known as 'Moqueca Baiana', is a very traditional dish in Brazil. You won't believe how flavorful and simple to make this dish is!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Fish, Moqueca, shrimp, stew
Author: Lilian Vallezi
1lbwhite fish fillets(500g) (tilapia, halibut, swordfish, cod)
1lbraw shrimp, peeled and deveined(500g)
1lime(about 4 tablespoon of juice)
5garlic cloves, minced
1green bell pepper
2tomatoes (Roma tomatoes are great)
13.5fl. oz.coconut milk(400ml)
1½Tablespoonred palm oil (Dendê oil)
½bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
1½teaspoonsalt(or adjust to your liking)
Place the fish fillets and shrimps in a bowl, and season it with salt (about 1 teaspoon or the amount of your preference), lemon juice and 2 minced garlic cloves. Set it aside in the fridge.
While the fish marinates, slice the bell pepper (removing the seeds and white segments inside), onion and tomatoes, about 0.3 inches/a little less than 1cm thick.
Add olive oil to a wide pan (preferably cast iron or clay pan) and sauté the onion. When it starts to get translucent, add bell pepper and sauté for a minute. Open space in the pan and add 3 minced garlic cloves, drizzling more olive oil if necessary. Sauté garlic for a few seconds, add tomatoes and chili pepper (if using), mix everything and close the lid for 1 minute. If pan is too dry and you see that vegetables may start burning, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
Now add the fish (avoid overlapping) and close the lid for a minute.
While fish is cooking, mix coconut milk, red palm oil and salt (about ½ teaspoon or to your liking). I like using an immersion blender to emulsify it, but you can use a whisk, if you don't have it.
Pour half of the mixture over the fish, and let it cook, with the lid on, for about 3 minutes. If your fish is very firm and thick, you might need to cook it a little longer. Try not to move the fish to avoid them falling apart.
Add shrimp and 2 tablespoons of the marinade in the pan. Add the other half of the coconut mixture, close the lid, and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until shrimp and fish are done.
Add chopped cilantro and, very delicately, with a spoon, make sure that it gets to the sauce. Taste it and correct the salt if necessary. Your delicious Brazilian seafood stew is ready to be served!
The cooking times suggested in the recipe are based on Tilapia. If you use firmer, thicker fish, the cooking time might slightly increase.You can make this recipe without red palm oil. It'll still be delicious. Just keep in mind that it won't taste quite the same as the traditional recipe.