Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This hearty stew can be made with any firm-fleshed white fish, such as catfish or halibut. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2012 issue along with Neide Rigo's story Passage to the Amazon.


  • 1 12 lb. boneless, skinless catfish filets, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 8 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 14 cup fresh lime juice
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 12 small yellow onions (1 minced, 1/2 thinly sliced)
  • 1 Italian frying pepper, stemmed, seeded (half minced, half thinly sliced)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored (1 minced, 1 thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. palm oil (available at My Natural Market)
  • 14 cup minced cilantro
  • 12 cup minced Thai basil leaves
  • Cooked white rice, to serve


Step 1

Toss fish, shrimp, juice, half the garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl; set aside. Heat olive oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic, minced onion, and minced pepper; cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add minced tomatoes; cook until broken down, about 5 minutes. Add stock, coconut milk, and palm oil; boil. Drain fish and shrimp and add to pot; cook until just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add sliced onion, pepper, and tomato; cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and basil; season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.

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