Moqueca de Peixe Baiana is a traditional Brazilian stew with white fish, bell pepper, tomato and lime. In Brazil, there are two varieties of the moqueca (pronounced "moh-kek-kah"), with both versions claiming to be the original. The difference lies in the use of coconut milk (moqueca baiana) or not (moqueca capixaba). This version, with coconut milk, comes from Bahia, where the recipe maker Yuan comes from.
In addition to a firm type of white fish, it is also recommended to add shrimp. If you choose this, only add the shrimp at the end. About five minutes before removing the dish from the heat.
The authentic recipe contains palm oil. This is available at the store. Palm oil is widely consumed in Brazil, but due to its harmful impact on the environment, we asked Yuan if we could use an alternative. He indicated that we can use a mix of olive oil and turmeric or smoked paprika to give the dish the same color.
Step 1. Marinate the fish
Cut the fish into 2 to 3 cm pieces and roughly chop the garlic, one onion and one tomato.
Place half of the coriander, garlic, one onion, one tomato and the juice of two limes in a food processor/blender and make a paste. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
Marinate the fish in this paste and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2. Prepare the moqueca
Chop the bell pepper, the remaining tomatoes, the remaining onions and the chili peppers.
Optional: you can eat the moqueca with larger pieces of vegetables, but you can also make a sauce out of it. If you choose the latter option, fry these ingredients briefly and mix them in the food processor until smooth. (We thought this was the best!)
Pour a little olive oil on the bottom of a pan and place the marinated fish in it. Don't put the pan on the fire yet.
Cover the fish with the bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and chilies to the top of the pan. Then add another layer of fresh coriander. Drizzle the top of the pan with olive and palm oil and place the pan over medium to high heat.
When the dish starts to boil, add the full-fat coconut milk and lower the heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package.
Finally, add the juice of the remaining lime. Serve with the rice on the side and some fresh coriander on top.
Bom apetite ('Enjoy your meal!')
Curious about the story behind this recipe? The Brazilian Yuan tells you more about the eating habits and traditions in Brazil!
2 kg white fish
Optional: 200 grams shrimp
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
5 cloves of garlic
15 grams fresh coriander
75 ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp palm oil (or alternative, see intro)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
400 ml coconut milk
400 grams of rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili pepper to taste
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