Moqueca Bahiana – Fish Stew

Here is a recipe of one of Brazil most famous fish dish, moqueca bahiana,  you can read more about Brazilian food and cultural differences at The foodie buggle.


• 1.5 kilograms of fresh white fish (sea bass or whiting)
• 3 bunches of coriander
• 3 bunches of spring onions
• 2 white onions (small)
• 3 cloves garlic
• 4 tomatoes
• 3 limes
• Azeite de dende  (palm oil)
• chili
• vegetable oil
· green and red peppers
· fine salt
· coconut milk
I add some prawns at the very end of cooking time, it’s a personal taste.


• Clean the fish, cut into slices 5 cm wide, add lime and leave it in a bowl with salt water weak. Cut the head to prepare the porridge later.
• Crush together garlic and salt.
• In a clay pot (large), place palm oil (two tablespoons) and oil (one tablespoon) and add the dough obtained in the pestle, moving it into the background.
• Place the  fish slices in the pan, arranging so that they are not on top of each other.
• Chop the cilantro, tomato and onion and place in this order over the fish steaks that are in the pan. Drizzle with palm oil, lime juice and coconut milk.
Do not put water, do not turn the fish steaks and cook with the pan well covered. Cook over strong heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally with the aid of a piece of thick cloth so that the fish slices do not grab the bottom. Sprinkle chopped coriander and serve immediately .
you can find at Brazilian/Portuguese delis or use palm oil from African/Indian shops


As complements of the moqueca are indispensable white rice, pirão de peixe (fish porridge)  and the chilli sauce.  While the fish is cooking prepare the fish porridge (Pirão de Peixe) :
Pirão de Peixe
Use the same seasonings of fish stew, simmering and reducing them by half. Add the fish’s head and any other fish bit you have or put one of the previously separated for this purpose. Do the same, this time adding three to four cups of water to fish. When cooked, drain and shred the fish. Add the fish broth to again bring to a boil and when the maximum point of boiling, add manioc flour slowly to prevent any lumps, stirring slowly with a fork. Chop coriander, and sprinkle on top before serving. I add some water to the manioc flour prior to adding to the broth, this way you avoid lumps.
Chilli Sauce
Pound six chilies in juice of two lemons and three tablespoons of vinegar of good quality. Cut an onion into very thin slices, doing the same with cilantro and spring onions, mixing everything add olive oil. If the sauce is too spicy, add a little water to dilute.
Moqueca Bahiana, pirao de peixe and white rice


  1. Hanna @ Swedish Meatball
    June 23, 2011 / 10:39 am

    YES I'm dying to cook moqueca – where in London have you found palm oil?

  2. June 29, 2011 / 3:22 am

    Hi Hannah, sorry for the late reply you can find it in Portuguese and Brazilian delis and African/Indian shops. Try Lisboa Deli, they have shops all over London. x