Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 10 min

| Cook Time: 20 mins

| Total Time: 35 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Brazil is a huge country with a diverse geography and nearly 5000 miles of coastline. Known for its annual spectacle Carnival and smiling people, it also has culinary riches in multitudes owing to one of the most diverse populations in the world. Most people think of Brazil in terms of its European, African, and indigenous roots. But today, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrant populations have seamlessly blended their traditions into the milieu making it a true melting pot of the world.

This recipe, called Moqueca ('Moo-KAY-Kah') in Portuguese, is a typical fish stew from the northern coastal state of Bahia. The climate in Bahia is tropical and, as you can imagine, seafood and tropical fruits play a big role in their dishes. Coconut milk is used in traditional recipes to provide a creamy slightly sweet base for this stew of white fish and shrimp. The Brazilian spice blend we use to make this dish is called Tempero Baiano. It's used to add zest and flavor to soups, stews, fish, chicken and bean dishes. It adds lovely herb notes and a mild heat profile from the red chili flakes and white pepper that, in soups, can slowly build as you work your way to the bottom of the broth. If you don't feel like making the full stew, try mixing some Tempero Baiano with olive oil and working it on fish directly as a rub before cooking.


  • 1 lb of flaky white fish (halibut, cod, sea bass, tilapia, etc) cut into 1-2" cubes

  • 1/2 lb of tail on shrimp (cooked or raw are fine)

  • salt & pepper to taste on fish (optional)

  • 2 limes (1 juiced, and 1 cut into wedges)

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil) (or coconut oil)

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

  • 2 tbsp Piquant Post Tempero Baiano blend

  • 1 cup of ripe cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • 2 cups low-salt fish or vegetable broth

  • 1 tsp salt for stew (optional)

  • handful of cilantro, stems removed & coarsely chopped (optional)


This recipe works well with a a number of different fish varieties from halibut to cod. Ask your fishmonger or supermarket seafood assistant for fresh suggestions. If using a thin cut (e.g., tilapia, cod, etc) you won't be able to cut into cubes, but aim for fork sized pieces.

Cooking temperature matters in this recipe. You want to just heat the liquid to the point of a low boil then reduce right away to simmer the ingredients so you don't overcook the fish.

Lastly, optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


Cut fish into cubes and season with salt & pepper. If using frozen shrimp, thaw in a bowl of water. Place fish in a medium bowl. Stir minced garlic into lime juice, then pour over fish. Gently toss to coat and set aside while cooking onions and peppers.

Heat a large flat bottom skillet on Med-High heat. Add oil then onions to pan, stirring occasionally. Cook for ~5 mins. Next, add bell pepper, ginger, Tempero Baiano spice, and tomatoes. Cook for 3 mins stirring mixture.

Pour the entire bowl of fish and lime juice into the skillet on top of the vegetables. Then, add the coconut milk and broth. Stir to loosen any bits on the bottom and to thoroughly toss the fish. Fish should be mostly, if not entirely, submerged in the liquid. Bring to a very low boil, then reduce heat to Low. If the shrimp are uncooked, add them now (If they are pre-cooked, add them in the last 5 mins).

Simmer the stew on Low for approximately 10-15 min until the fish is cooked through. Pour in bowls and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro. Serve with jasmine rice.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • The base recipe for Moqueca Brazilian fish stew is easy to adapt to your own tastes. The coconut broth spiced with our Tempero Baiano blend can be used to make a delicious soup with any number of ingredients.

  • For our friends who don't like seafood or shrimp, try substituting in (pre-cooked) shredded or cubed chicken or cooked sausage rounds.

  • Make it a vegan dish by substituting in cubed portobello mushrooms or tofu, or adding in vegan "fish balls". Add in more veggies like sliced carrot rounds, celery, and/or sweet potato (pre-roast or adjust cooking time as necessary to soften).

  • If you're not up to making a stew, try using the Tempero Baiano as a rub on roasted chicken thighs or oven baked fish. Mix 1 tbsp of Tempero Baiano with 1 tbsp of olive oil then rub directly on the fish or meat before roasting.

  • Ready to use up the bounty of fall veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or carrot? Try roasting a pan filled with a melange of chopped vegetables tossed with olive oil and our Tempero Baiano blend. 400 degrees for ~20 mins.

  • Don't forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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