Moqueca is a super easy traditional Brazilian fish stew which is creamy and tangy all at once because it has the brilliant combo of lime juice, coconut milk and chilli. It will warm your cockles even on an autumn evening and take you to somewhere a little bit more exotic if you are not there already. You can also use fresh squid, sea bream, haddock, clams, mussels, scallops, crab or whatever is available or whatever you fancy in it. It’s up to you. Its really delicious with basmati rice or crusty bread if you are not low carbing it. Perfect for a dinner party or just a dinner for two.
Serves 2-3 (double ingredients for 6).
500g boned and skinned white fish cut into chunks (I use cod here)
Juice and zest of one lime
1/2 red onion finely sliced
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 red pepper cut into small cubes
2 cloves garlic minced
1 red chilli finely chopped (half if you don’t like it too hot)
1 cup of rich fish stock using a bit less hot water to make it than it says on the box or make your own stock (I use a Knorr fish stock pot, they are brilliant)
200g tin of chopped tomatoes (half a regular tin)
1 cup from a can of coconut milk (only the thick cream bit)
6 big raw prawns or 200 g of smaller ones
A sprig of coriander finely chopped
Toasted coconut chips or desiccated coconut (optional)
Wedges of lime to serve
Place the fish into a ceramic or glass container.
Add half a teaspoon of salt and pour the lime juice over, chill and leave for 30 minutes to marinate.
Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a low heat and cook the onions till soft, about four minutes.
Add the cubed pepper, garlic and chilli and gently stir fry for another five minutes.
Pour in the stock, the tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and cook for about 25 minutes or until reduced by a about a third.
Add the prawns and fish and cook for another 8 minutes or until the seafood is cooked through.
Serve sprinkled with the lime zest and coriander and coconut chips, or desiccated coconut and put the lime wedges on the side.