← Back to Search Results
Brazilian, Latin American
Fish in Coconut Stew Recipe-660

Photo by:
Comments: 2


This is a popular Brazilian stew, rich with creamy coconut milk. An authentic ingredient is palm oil (dendê), which lends a distinctive flavor and color, but you can use more olive oil instead.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 15 Mins
Cooking time: 35 Mins


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1¾ lb (800g) firm white fish, such as cod and snapper, cut into large chunks or strips
  • 3 tbsp palm oil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

For the salsa:

  • 1 ripe tomato, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce


1. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until tender but not browned. Add the tomatoes and the peppers. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and released their juices. Stir in the coconut milk and tomato paste and return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into a serving bowl. Set aside to allow the flavors to blend.

3. Add the fish to the coconut milk mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, until the fish is opaque throughout. Do not overcook. Stir in the palm oil, if using.

4. Transfer the stew to a heated serving dish and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve hot, with the salsa passed on the side.


Farofa de Dendê: To make this traditional side dish, heat 2 tbsp dendê oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion and cook 5 minutes until tender. Add ½ cup manioc flour and 15 soaked drained, and finely chopped dried shrimp. Cook, stirring, until the flour is toasted, about 5 minutes.


Prepare ahead:

Prepare, cool, and refrigerate the stew up through step 1 up to 1 day ahead. When ready to serve, heat and add the fish. The salsa can be made up to 1 day ahead, but stir in the chopped parsley at the last minute.

© 2008 Dorling Kindersley

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

574kcal (29%)
76mg (8%)
74mg (123%)
94mcg RAE (3%)
86mg (29%)
453mg (19%)
20g (102%)
41g (63%)
4mg (20%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • shwillary

    10.15.13 Flag comment

    I totally bastardized this recipe but it was pretty good - I toasted about 6 oz of fideos before adding coconut milk, along with steeping a stalk of lemongrass and other adaptions. It was a great inspiration!

  • Barquinho

    01.11.10 Flag comment

    In Brazil, this is called Moqueca. Like the gumbos of Louisiana, each region and within the regions, each household makes a different version. I would only add that you might want to use a coconut milk with no added sugar and beware that dende can stimulate the lower GI. I prefer to use olive oil. Also, using a bit of lime juice and creole seasoning on the fish prior to cooking gives it a little zest that is missing.


Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
sunday-suppers-at-lucques Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
lucindas-authentic-jamaican-kitchen Lucinda's Authentic Jamaica...
by Lucinda Scala Quinn
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
julias-kitchen-wisdom Julia's Kitchen Wisdom
by Julia Child
jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
the-asian-grandmothers-cookbook The Asian Grandmothers Cook...
by Patricia Tanumihardja

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?