In partnership with Iceland
Moqueca is Brazil’s answer to France’s bouillabaisse and Portugal’s caldeirada. Filled with fish, prawns, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and leaf coriander, this easy, healthy fish stew is one of Brazil’s best dishes. What makes it amazing is coconut milk. You can make it without, but I promise that if you add just one tin of full-fat coconut milk your family will be wanting it every week. Mine does.
Traditionally, naturally red and full of beta-carotene dendê oil (palm oil – NOT palm kernel oil) would be used in this fish stew, however to echo the coconut milk I’ve opted for coconut oil; or you could use olive oil. It is also traditional to marinate the fish first, but having done this on a few occasions I didn’t find that this step added much. Which is just as well because recently I’ve dispensed with another tradition: fresh fish. Or rather raw fresh fish.
The fish I use in my Moqueca is freshly-frozen from Iceland. This stalwart of the UK supermarket scene is building up quite a reputation among food lovers for their growing selection of healthy frozen vegetables, grain mixes, fruits and of course fish and seafood. In fact, with #ThePowerofFrozen Iceland’s high quality fish is as tasty as raw, “wet” fish, but more convenient (just reach in your freezer) and retaining all of its nutritional value. Taste, texture and nutrition can all be a bit hit or miss with raw fresh fish – and it’s usually much more expensive.
You need a firm fish for this recipe, and I find that Iceland’s wild caught Red Snapper and a bag of their North Atlantic prawns is perfect. I’ve been using their frozen fish for over a year now, and one of the best things about their fish is that you don’t even have to defrost it. For this recipe you just add the frozen fish and prawns straight into the sauce and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. I can’t think of an easier way to enjoy a healthy, colourful fish supper. You can even order your fish online (they’ve been named Which? UK best online supermarket). How convenient is that?
Need more ideas on how to use frozen fish? Please see my recipe post, Sri Lankan-style Fish Curry with Green Rice + Tips On Using Frozen Fish.
Brazilian Fish Stew
Creamy coconut milk is the secret to turning frozen fish, onions, peppers, tomatoes and leaf coriander from a great fish stew to an amazing fish stew. Try this super easy and healthy family-friendly recipe tonight!
P.S. instructions are given for both frozen and raw fish. 🙂
1 & 1/2 tbsp oil of choice – I like coconut for this dish
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green or other coloured pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp paprika
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced/grated
½ tbsp. ground cumin
½ tsp salt, optional
1 rounded tbsp. grated gingerroot
½ chilli flakes, optional
1 x 400g tin tomatoes OR 4 very ripe tomatoes, chopped (use the juices too)
200ml coconut milk OR 200ml water with 1 tbsp tomato puree added
250g Iceland red snapper OR hake, coley or other firm white fish – fresh or frozen (cube the fresh fish)
100g Iceland peeled prawns, fresh or frozen
Leaf coriander, optional garnish
1. Heat the oil in a deep, wide pan and add the onion. Saute over a low-medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper, paprika, garlic, cumin, salt if using, ginger and chilli flakes if using, cooking for a couple of minutes. Add in the tomatoes and their juice, along with the coconut milk or tomato paste and water. Mix well and bring to a bubble. If you are using frozen fish and prawns add these now, cover, bring back up to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. If using fresh fish, simmer the sauce for 15 minutes then add the fresh fish and prawns.
2. To serve the dish using frozen fish, use a fork to steady each fish fillet while you remove the skin with a knife; cut the fish into pieces with the knife.
Serving suggestion: enjoy with wholegrain rice, polenta or crusty bread
Soft food diet: Blend the sauce before adding the fish; defrost the prawns and mince before adding during the last five minutes.
If you like this fishy dishy, why not Pin it for making later? And you can follow me on Pinterest too. 🙂
Thank you to Iceland for commissioning this recipe. Partnered posts such as this help me to keep bringing you my recipes – for free. Thanks to you as well, for supporting not only me but also the quality brands with which I work. I only partner with brands I actually use and like. All opinions are strictly my own.