Moqueca is a traditional Brazilian seafood stew that consists basically of layers of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, pepper and fish steaks cooked and served in a black clay pot and a side of rice.
There are many types of moqueca depending on the meat used, but two stand out: one from Bahia state and another one from Espirito Santo state. What differentiates one recipe from another is the use of two ingredients: coconut milk and palm oil that are added only to the Bahian style.
On our first vacation together after we got married, some 13 years ago, we drove a thousand miles to Porto Seguro, a place that claims to be where the history of Brazil started. As we were on vacation and time did not count, we would stop for a couple of days here and there to enjoy the beaches along the coastline. Over there, they eat a lot of fish and we were able to try the two types of moqueca, that were always brought steaming hot to our table.
This is my contribution to Andrea's recipes and her Grow Your Own event. I used cilantro from my indoor garden.
Moqueca baiana (Bahian fish stew)
2 lbs. (1 kg) fish filets, cut into large portions, about 2 inches (5 cm)
juice of one lime
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 pound (500 g) shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large tomatoes, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 bunch cilantro
7 oz (200 ml) coconut milk
2 tablespoons palm oil (azeite de dende)
1 teaspoon salt
1) Marinate the fish filets and the shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika and lime juice for at least one hour.
2) In a large sauté pan or dutch oven, sauté garlic in oil. Turn off the heat at this point and using half of the vegetables start making layers of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and peppers. Cover the layers with the fish, the marinade and cilantro.
Serves 4 to 6.
- Simply Recipes