People often associate Brazilian food with big chunks of meat and steakhouses, but there’s so much more to Brazilian cuisine – like this beautifully rich fish stew. Moqueca Baiana originated in Bahia, Brazil and was influenced by both Portuguese and African cuisine.
According to my own super-technical research, the native people of Brazil have been eating this stew for hundreds of years. When the Portuguese colonized Brazil, they discovered it and added coconut milk and new spices to the recipe. The soup changed again when slaves brought from Africa incorporated palm oil into the traditional recipe. This unique meal is a recipe created via a world collaboration, which is why it’s so complex in flavor.
I hope you enjoy the unique blend of flavors in this stew as much as I do!
1 lb. firm white fish, such as sea bass, cod or mahi mahi, cut into bite sized pieces
Juice from 1 lime
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, sliced
1 red bell pepper,sliced
1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1 14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Marinate fish in lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in the refrigerator for one hour.
When you’re ready to cook, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the fish and cook through until slightly browned. Set aside on a plate.
In the same skillet, heat a little more olive oil and cook onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Then, add the carrots and red bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, broth, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the cooked fish to heat up.
Serve with lime wedges and fresh cilantro. This stew is delicious alone, with a baguette, or over rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!