Monday, October 8, 2012

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca)

Ooooh, boy. What a mix of deliciously tangy catfish with fresh vegetables and sweet coconut milk. Each bite was impressively flavorful.

It was so nice out today that I didn't get started cooking till it was dark out, just because I wanted to sit outside and bask in the sun I rarely get to enjoy at work.

Then I got to chop up vegetables, drink wine, listen to The Mountain Goats, and hang out with my lovely boyfriend--so I didn't necessarily neeeed the fish stew to make my day, but I welcomed it anyhow. I have a generous spirit.

Once those on Dice/Slice Row had been dispensed of, I tossed the fish pieces with lime juice, olive oil, half the minced garlic, salt and pepper, then set them aside.

I heated up two tablespoons of olive oil in my Dutch oven, setting it over medium-high heat. Once the oil was heated, I added the remaining garlic, the large diced onion, and half the diced green pepper. I cooked these until they were tender and translucent (about four minutes.)

Then I added the diced tomato, cooking it down for five minutes. As it began to mush, I poured in the coconut milk, wine, and vegetable oil. The mixture came to a boil, at which point I added the fish and cooked it for about six to eight minutes.

I then added remaining veggies (sliced tomato, sliced onion, and other half of the green pepper) and stirred to combine. I covered the oven and let it cook for another five minutes--don't reduce the heat!

I then removed the lid, stirred in the cilantro and basil, and seasoned the dish (after tasting) with salt and pepper.

Ladled it over rice, snapped some pretty pictures, and then sat down to enjoy the stew with the latest episode of Homeland. Perfect.

Brazilian Fish Stew
Serves 3 - 4.

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless catfish fillets, cut into 2-in. pieces
2 large tomatoes, one diced and one thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil (one for fish, two for cooking)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/2 cup basil, minced
2 cups white rice, cooked


  1. At what point did you add the fish?

  2. Oh, gosh, thank you for pointing out my error! I've updated the recipe now. I added the fish after I added the coconut milk, etc. and brought it to a boil. I then cooked the fish for six to eight minutes and then added the rest of the vegetables.

    Thanks again!

    1. Thank YOU. That was fabulous! :D And I wouldn't have gotten it right without your quick feedback. So thank you. :)

      For our own tastes and bowls (and laziness), we're thinking of doing the following in the future:
      - dicing up all the tomatoes
      - instead of full rounds of onions, cutting the round in half
      - reducing the amount of catfish and adding potatoes
      - using entirely olive oil.

      No criticism implied here. It was wonderful! We're just lazy. ;)

    2. Mmmmm, potatoes! All your adjustments sound fabulous. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe. I'm gonna have to make this one again soon--with potatoes this time!--now that it's actually getting cold here again in Louisiana.

    3. this sounds delicious... please, lets make it