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Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)
by Elise Bauer of, adapted from Brazilian food blogger Fernanda's recipe

fish stew, photo by Elise Bauer

The people of Bahia in Northern Brazil make a savory fish stew called “moqueca,” and there are many varieties as there are fish.

Moqueca generally features firm fish, onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, coconut milkm and chili pepper, and is cooked slowly.

Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)
This salmon moqueca recipe was adapted by Elise Bauer of from a recipe by her friend, Brazilian food blogger Fernanda of the Chucrute com Salsicha blog.

We first encountered salmon moqueca at the very good — and unfortunately now closed — Cafe Brazil in the Allston section of Boston, run by its cordial host and owner Valter Vitorino.


Marinade ingredients
  • 1/2 head (4‒6 cloves) garlic, peeled, crushed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon organic paprika
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon organic cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon organic coarse ground pepper
Main ingredients

  1. Mix together the marinade ingredients. Let the salmon marinate in this paste for at least 2 hours.
  2. In a large pan (large covered skillet or Dutch oven), coat the bottom of the pan with 2 Tbsps olive oil. Add a layer of sliced onions, and then a layer of sliced bell peppers, and a layer of sliced tomatoes.
  3. Place the fish pieces, with the marinade, on top and start layering again – onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Top off with about half of the cilantro. Pour coconut milk over the top. Drizzle generously with olive oil over the top (several tablespoons).
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until the vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Serve direct to the table with rice; garnish with remaining cilantro.
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