Moqueca - Brazilian Spicy Fish Stew

I modified the recipe to meet the breast cancer diet recommendations.

You can turn down the 'heat' by using half the amount of chili peppers in the recipe. Remember that we don't want to saute in HOT oil.  Overheating oil turns it into a carcinogen.  Only use medium heat and add ingredients to the oil before it is hot or reaches its burn point.  The food should not 'sizzle' when you add it.

Although this method won't cause the usual browning, recipes are still tasty and so much better for you.

Tip: Whenever a recipe calls for cooking oil I use a 50-50 combo of olive and coconut oil...this boosts the burn point of the olive oil.


6-8 servings

  • 2  lbs. Wild Cod, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 c. roughly chopped organic Onion, plus 1/2 cup julienned Onion
  • 2 c. roughly chopped organic Tomatoes, and 2 Tomatoes cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 2 cloves Garlic, and 1 Tbs. minced Garlic
  • 5 Tbs. chopped fresh organic Cilantro
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbs. fresh-squeezed Lime juice
  • 1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or coconut oil, or blend 50-50)
  • 1/4 c. Piri Piri, recipe follows
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can Coconut milk

Place the fish in a large glass or plastic mixing bowl. In a blender, combine chopped onion, chopped tomato, the 2 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbs. of the cilantro, 1 tsp. of the salt, and lime juice. Blend until smooth, then pour directly over the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil. Wait 1 minute (do not allow to reach sizzle point).  Add the julienned onions to the pan and sauté, stirring, about 4 minutes.

Add the minced garlic to the pan and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Pour the fish and the marinade into the pan and add the remaining tsp. of salt, the Piri Piri, and the coconut milk.  Stir to combine.

Cover pan until the liquid comes to a slow boil.  Place  the sliced tomatoes on top and cover again.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the flesh starts to flake, about 10 minutes.

Remove the cover from the pan and sprinkle the remaining 4 tablespoons of cilantro over the fish. Serve accompanied by cooked barley or whole wheat Bulgar.

Piri Piri:

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1/2 c. extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 cloves Garlic, crushed with 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 3 Cayenne Chile peppers, chopped; stems, ribs and seeds removed (or substitute hot red peppers)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed Lemon juice

Place a small pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Wait 1 minute and add the garlic and peppers.

Sauté, stirring often, until the edges of the garlic are barely golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the pan, and remove from the heat.

Place the contents of the pan in a blender and add the salt. Puree until mostly smooth. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil through the feed tube of the blender, processing as you do. Let cool before using. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Yield: 3/4 cup

~ In good health!