Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

This traditional Brazilian stew is made with marinated white-fleshed fish, then simmered with peppers and tomatoes for an aromatic dinner.


  • Small Dutch over or high-sided skillet
  • Chef Knife


  • 1 1/2 lb (750 g) white-fleshed fish fillets (halibut, haddock or tilapia), cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper, divided
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) white rice, cooked according to package directions




  1. In large bowl, gently toss together fish, lemon juice, garlic, pepper flakes and half each of the salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in small Dutch oven or high-sided skillet set over medium heat; cook onion, red and yellow peppers, paprika, and remaining salt and pepper for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato paste; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; cook for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes start to soften. Remove from heat.
  3. Add fish with marinade and green onions to pan. Blend 1/3 cup (75 mL) broth with flour until smooth; stir into pan along with remaining broth and milk.
  4. Return pan to medium heat. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce is thickened slightly and fish is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with rice.


Tip: Substitute shrimp for fish if desired.