Moqueca is a fish and prawn stew, one of Brazil’s most famous dishes and will be a big hit with all the family. It is full of spice and fresh bright flavours. Even better it is quick and easy to make.

Brazilian Fish Stew

The Moqueca is a fish-based stew, often cooked in a clay pot, famous for its aromatic broth. As with so many regional recipes there are many local variations. In Brazil it is the subject of culinary rivalries. The two contesting versions come from Bahia in the north and Espírito Santo in the south with both claiming to make the best Moqueca in the country (of course). The main difference is that the northern version “Moqueca Baiana” includes peppers and coconut milk. Recipe below is for the northern version.

You generally want to use firm white fish for most stews and soups, because the meat will hold its shape and not disintegrate in the cooking process. We have selected sea bream for the recipe however you can use many other firm white fish such as halibut, cod or haddock as alternatives or in combination.

The quantities below will feed six people

Ingredients For Moqueca

1kg skinless sea bream, pin-boned and cut into 3cm cubes from Walter Purkis & Sons
200g cooked king prawns from Walter Purkis & Sons
Juice of 4 limes (around 75ml)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
500ml fish stock (available in our shops)
400g can chopped tomatoes
270ml reduced-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
900g steamed rice, to serve
Freshly chopped coriander to garnish

Cooking Method For Moqueca

Place the sea bream and prawns in a large glass dish and toss with 2 tbsp of the lime juice and 1 tsp salt. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the red pepper, garlic and chillies, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes or until the pepper is softened.

Stir in the stock, tomatoes, coconut milk and coconut oil. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 12–15 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced.

Add the prawns, fish and marinating juices, and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and the prawns are warmed through.

Stir in the remaining lime juice and season to taste. Serve with the rice, garnished with the chopped coriander.


This Moqueca recipe and image credits are from Seafish.  More recipes on the Love Seafood website