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Brazilian Moqueca (Fish soup)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 35 min


For the fish:

  • 1 1/2 lb firm white fish (Halibut, Black cod, Sea bass- thicker cuts are best)

  • 1/2 tsp lime, zest and juice


  • 2-3 tbsp coconut or olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 cup carrot, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 cup fish or chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced (fresh is best)

  • 1 can coconut milk, liquid and solids

  • salt, to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, scallions, or Italian parsley

  • squeeze of lime, to serve


  1. Rinse and pat dry the fish and cut into 2-inch pieces. Place into a bowl. Add salt, zest from 1/2 lime and 1 tbsp lime juice. Massage lightly to coat all pieces well. Set aside.

  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, add carrot, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and cook for 4-5 more minutes.

  3. Add tomato paste, spices, and stock. Mix and bring to a simmer and add tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently on medium-low for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add the coconut milk and taste and add more salt, if necessary. Nestle the fish in the stew and simmer gently until it's cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Spoon the flavorful coconut broth over the fish and cook until desired done-ness or longer for thicker pieces.

  4. Taste and adjust salt and squeeze with lime.

  5. To serve, serve over rice, sprinkle with cilantro or scallions and a squeeze of lime. Drizzle with a little olive oil, if you'd like. Enjoy!

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