Moqueca Fish Stew

Originating in the eastern state of Bahia, Moqueca has become a cornerstone of Brazilian cuisine. This fragrant fish stew is made with a mix of firm white fish and enriched with tomato purée and coconut oil.


Serves 4

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteDo not cook on too high a heat, or overcook, as the fish will become dry and the sauce may start to split.
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  • 1kg mixed firm white fish e.g. bass, cod, snapper; filleted, skin removed and cut into 2-3cm chunks
  • 8 large prawns, peeled (tails intact), deveined
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, halved and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 500ml light chicken stock
  • 1 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf


Put the fish, prawns, lime juice, lime zest and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Mix well, cover and chill for 20 minutes to marinate.

Heat the olive oil in the casserole on a low to medium heat setting and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened but not browned.

Add the chilli, peppers and garlic and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato purée, coconut oil, shrimp paste and bay leaf and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the stock and coconut milk, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add the fish and prawns, put on the lid, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.