This traditional Brazilian seafood dish recipe comes from the state of Bahia in northern Brazil. The dish, moqueca de peixe, (moo-KAY-ka duh PAY-shuh) is a tropical fish stew fragrant with garlic and peppers, and enriched with coconut milk.
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 1/2-pound) sea bass or halibut fillet, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup minced green onions (about 1 bunch)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopped tomato (about 2 large)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
How to Make It
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, and bay leaf; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high; add tomato, and cook 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cilantro, clam juice, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Place one-third of vegetable mixture in a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour pureed vegetable mixture into pan. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture. Add coconut milk and red pepper to pureed vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 3 minutes. Add fish mixture; cook 3 minutes or until fish is done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro.
Second time to make this recipe (both times were for company) and received rave reviews. With two exceptions: (i) added a bit more red pepper; and (ii) used 2 lb shrimp to 1 lb sea bass (sea bass is expensive!), I made no changes to the ingredients. In order to use my time more efficiently, I made the broth the night before and just added/cooked the fish right before serving. Served with Cloverleaf Honey-Wheat Rolls and a green salad with balsalmic vinaigrette, followed by a blackberry galette. Very nice meal!
I love moqueca but it's very fattening. This recipe is a great substitute. It may not taste exactly like the real thing but is very delicious in its own right. It's easy but time consuming. I use a hand blender instead of mixer and it cuts down the time and mess.
With this recipe, I claimed myself an outstanding cook! It is SO delicious. Little bit time consuming to cut the veggies, but it is all worth it in the end. My friends all loved it so much! I did some modification the second day by adding potato to it. I had tried a Peruvian seafood soup and they had potato in it. So I thought, since Peru and Brazil are so close, the Brazilians certainly won't mind me taking the liberty in incorporating their neighbor's soup ingredient. It turned out to be a great decision and the potato added heartiness to the soup. Highly recommend this recipe.
Must make this Stew 1 Day ahead!
The flavors are good when 1st made, but the next day this stew is fantastic! The flavors are much more intense. This also goes so well with a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth!
Plan to make again for an upcoming Supper Club.
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