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Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)

The people of Bahia in Northern Brazil make a savory fish stew called “Moqueca,” and there are many varieties of Moqueca as there are fish.

It generally features onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, chili pepper (or paprika) and additional ingredients, and is cooked slowly with no water added.

Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)
This salmon Moqueca recipe was adapted from The Boston Globe by Elise Bauer of Simply

We're guessing the Globe may have encountered moqueca at the unassuming but very good Cafe Brazil in the Allston section of Boston, run by its cordial host and owner Valter Vitorino. (He's got a great singer-guitarist in residence, too!)

Marinade ingredients
6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon organic paprika
2 1/2 teaspoon organic cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon organic coarse ground pepper

Main ingredients
1 1/2
2 pounds wild Alaskan sockeye (or other) salmon, cut into large-bite sized pieces
Organic extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Sea salt and organic coarse ground pepper
14 oz can coconut milk
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (1
2 cups)
Freshly cooked rice for serving

  • Mix together the marinade ingredients. Let the salmon marinate in this paste for at least 2 hours.

  • In a large pan (large covered skillet or Dutch oven), coat the bottom of the pan with 2 Tbsps olive oil. Add a layer of sliced onions, and then a layer of sliced bell peppers, and a layer of sliced tomatoes.

  • Place the fish pieces, with the marinade, on top and start layering again – onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Top off with about half of the cilantro. Pour coconut milk over the top. Drizzle generously with olive oil over the top (several tablespoons).

  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until the vegetables are cooked through.

  • Serve direct to the table with rice; garnish with remaining cilantro.

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