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A close up of moqueca in a large bowl ready to eat
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4.93 from 13 votes

Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

This Authentic Moqueca (or Brazilian Fish Stew) is made perfectly savory and comforting with firm fish, creamy coconut, tomatoes, lime and spiced peri peri seasoning.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Brazilian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 467kcal


  • 1 lb white fish chopped - see note below
  • 1/2 lb mussel meat see note below
  • 1 1/2 limes divided/ you will be using the juice from the limes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp red palm oil see note below
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 4 plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 13.5 oz coconut milk can
  • 2 tsp piri piri seasoning see note below for replacement
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped


  • Season fish and mussels with juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute for a few minutes, until softened.
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and quite mushy.
  • Add coconut milk and piri piri seasoning. Bring to a boil.
  • Add fish and mussels. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, until fish is cooked through.
  • Add cilantro and stir to combine. Adjust salt as needed and finish with the juice of ½ lime.
  • Serve with lime wedges and yuca, rice or farofa (cassava meal).


Notes regarding the ingredients
If you can't locate Red Palm Oil, you can substitute with any other cooking oil like vegetable oil, sunflower oil or grapeseed oil, however, you won’t get such richness of color.
For fish, use any firm, white fleshed fish like cod, sea bass, haddock or basa.
For additional seafood, any variety of shellfish can be utilized. You can either include it in the shell or out.
For Coconut Milk, use canned coconut milk only or fresh, but do not use carton coconut milk. Carton coconut milk has less body.
For the Piri Piri Seasoning,  if you cannot locate this, you can also use just 2 teaspoons of paprika and 1 teaspoon of cumin.
For the tomatoes – You can use fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes.


Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 776mg | Potassium: 1047mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1625IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 5mg