Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

Moqueca (pronounced mo-KEH-kah) is a Brazilian stew made with peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, lime coconut milk and herbs. It can be served with fish or shrimp. It reminded me a little of the thai curries made with coconut milk and it was very tasty.

I used cod for the stew. You could use another white fish or I saw a shrimp version as well. Depending on the region it comes from it can have coconut milk or not, but I made the coconut milk version. This stew is usually served over rice and it was quite simple to make.

I loved the combination of the tomatoes, peppers, spices and coconut milk which created a rich broth that goes really well over rice, and the lime juice and herbs add a ton of fresh flavor. This dish only takes about 30 minutes since fish and seafood cook so quickly. It was a great weeknight dinner.

Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

Savory stew made with onion, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, paprika, lime and coconut milk
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes diced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs cod or shrimp or other fish
  • 2 cups seafood or vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime or more to taste
  • chopped scallions
  • chopped cilantro
  • rice for serving I used basmati


  • Cook your rice while you cook the stew. Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, garlic and jalapeno and cook for a few minutes with a pinch of salt.
  • Add the spices, salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the stock and coconut milk. Gently place the fish into the liquid and cook for 10-15 minutes. Stirring gently once in a while but being careful not to break up the fish too much.
  • Add the lime juice and taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve over rice topped with scallion and cilantro.
Keyword Lunch, Main Dish, Seafood, Soup

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