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.
- 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.
- Do not cook on too high a heat, or overcook, as the fish will become dry and the sauce may start to split.
- Half a jar of potted shrimp or a fish stock cube or 1 tablespoon of miso paste can be used instead of shrimp paste if preferred.
- Serve with rice garnished with lime wedges, chopped spring onions and chopped coriander.