Brazilian Fish Stew


brazilian fish stew recipe on

When I saw the recipe for Brazilian fish stew (also known as moqueca), while flipping through my friend Simone’s new book, The Zenbelly Cookbook, I knew I had to share it with my readers. Being married to a Keralite guy, I love fish stew, and like many Kerala fish stew recipes, this one also uses coconut milk. Simone describes the combination of coconut milk, tomatoes and citrus as “exotic and comforting,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Like all of the recipes in her book, this stew is simple, flavorful and unique. In addition to a varied selection of recipes, Simone, a talented chef, also offers her expertise on cooking and planning menus. Some of her how-to’s and step-by-step guides include: how to cut a whole chicken, how to hold a knife, and how to source quality ingredients.

Whether you’re a new cook or an experienced one, you’ll have no trouble creating gourmet dishes to impress family and friends. Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll find inside The Zenbelly Cookbook:

  • starters: plantain shoestring fries, two-bite flatbreads, spiced pepitas
  • sides: cumin-orange roasted carrots, double-bacon collard greens
  • main entrees: citrus-herb spatchcock chicken, pistachio-crusted rack of lamb, cocao-chili pork shoulder
  • desserts: lemon pound cake, strawberry shortcake, chocolate layer cake

If that line-up wasn’t tempting enough, I’m sure you’ll want to buy this book after trying this recipe below. Enjoy!

Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca

brazilian fish stew recipe on

Brazilian Fish Stew Moqueca

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Cook Time 30 mins


  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest divided
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro divided
  • 1 pound wild cod snapper, or any firm-fleshed, mild white fish fillets
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 14-ounce jar diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • teaspoons Fish Sauce
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper


  • In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine ½ teaspoon of the lime zest, ½ teaspoon of the lemon zest, the lime and lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro. Add the fish and shrimp and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, fish sauce, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
  • Add the fish and shrimp along with the marinade. Bring to a simmer and cook another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the fish starts to flake and the shrimp is cooked through.
  • Serve garnished with the remaining cilantro and citrus zest.


Make sure you: zest the lemon and lime before juicing them.


Serving: 4-6
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Juliana Lopes-Seiko says

    Oh Ashley, thank you for sharing Simone’s recipe with us. I’m Brazilian and my husband is also a Keralite 🙂 his favorite food from Brazil is moqueca… very happy to see it here in your blog! I love your recipes!!

  2. Heather Gaillot says

    I am dying for it to cool off here so I can start making soups and stews! We make Tom Ka Gai a lot and I think this would be a good alternative that my husband would like too. Hoping for cooler weather now!

  3. joanna says

    i was kind of hoping this recipe used fish stock since i have so much!!! not sure what to make with it all!! this still looks very tasty though. i eat a lot of fish and always like having new ways to cook it.

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