Moqueca – Brazilian fish stew

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow, red or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds (optional)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 6-ounce skinless cod fillets (or any white fish), or 12 oz shrimp or other mix seafood
  • 1 Tbsp grated lime zest, plus 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup clam juice or fish broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick soup pot over medium until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, chili, zucchini, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in half the garlic, the paprika, tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the fish, lime zest and juice, the remaining garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Turn to coat on all sides, then set aside at room temperature until ready to use. Do not marinade for more than 15 minutes or fish meat will break down.
  3. Add the clam juice or fish broth, coconut milk to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the fish (or seafood) with its marinade. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Gently flip the fish and continue to cook until the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork, about another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, breaking the fish into chunks as you stir. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve over rice or quinoa.