Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca Baiana)

Simple to make with everyday ingredients, this is such a different exotic way to serve up fish!!

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Servings: 2-3



1 lb / 500g firm white fish fillet, no skin, cut into 1″/2.5cm cubes (Note 1)

1 tbsp lime juice

¼ tsp salt

Black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil


1½ tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small onion, finely diced (brown, yellow or white)

1 large red bell pepper / capsicum, halved and sliced

1½ tsp sugar (any)

1 tbsp cumin powder

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

½ tsp salt

14oz / 400ml coconut milk (I used low fat)

14oz / 400ml canned crushed tomatoes

1 cup fish broth (or chicken broth or water)


1 tbsp lime juice

3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro / coriander



Combine the fish, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the fish and cook until just cooked through and light golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.


Reduce the stove to medium high and heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in the same skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 1½ minutes or until the onion is starting to become translucent.

Add the bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the remaining Broth ingredients. Bring to simmer, then turn down to medium. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until it thickens. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Return the fish to the broth to reheat – about 2 minutes.

Stir through lime juice.

Garnish with cilantro/coriander and serve with rice.


This is best made with firm white fish fillets because they hold their shape better. Firm white fish fillets include: Ling, Blue-eye Trevalla, Coral Trout, Emperors and Mahi Mahi, Halibut, Sword fish, Cod, Bass and Catfish.

However, I have made this with gem fish (like tilapia) and it works great, you just need to be slightly more careful when searing the cubes of fish so they don’t fall apart. Use an egg flip to turn them carefully!