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May 15, 2020

Cook Your Catch: Moqueca

Ready to spice up your dinner repertoire? Try this easy recipe for moqueca.


Ready to spice up your dinner repertoire? Try this easy recipe for moqueca. This traditional Brazilian fish stew can be made with just about any saltwater fish like swordfish or halibut, but you can also use shrimp or prawns. Whatever you choose, this dish is sure to please the seafood lovers in your house. It also uses easily found ingredients and is fairly simple to make, so this moqueca recipe is suitable for even a less-than-gourmet cook.

This recipe is courtesy of Ronnie Green, host of A Fishing Story with Ronnie Green television show on CBS Sports.

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 cup of your preferred fish (a firm, white saltwater fish works best, or shrimp or prawns)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (liquid and solids)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, scallions or Italian parsley
  • 1 fresh lime

Rinse and pat the fish dry, and cut into two-inch pieces.

Place in a bowl, then add salt, zest from half the lime and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Massage lightly until all pieces are well coated, then set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium, add the carrots, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño and cook 4-5 more minutes.

Add tomato paste and spices. Mix and bring to a simmer, then add tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Add the coconut milk, then taste and add more salt if necessary.

Nestle the fish into the stew and simmer gently until it’s cooked to your desired doneness – typically 4-6 minutes, or longer for thicker cuts of fish. Spoon the flavorful coconut broth over the fish while it simmers. If you prefer, once you’ve added the fish you can finish the dish in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Taste and add salt if needed, and add a squeeze of lime.

Serve over rice, sprinkle with cilantro or scallions, and another squeeze of lime.

Finally, drizzle with a little olive oil, and bon appetite.

Once you’ve made it a time or two, consider experimenting with some of your favorite spices, different vegetables or other species of fish to make it your own and to add a little variety. There’s no wrong way to make moqueca, so don’t be afraid to mix it up. Enjoy!

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