Moqueca: The Fish Stew That Is Brazil’s Best-Kept Secret

If you think about authentic Brazilian cuisine, you think about rice, beans, and chilis.  When you think about Brazil and Brazilian food, there are a few things that come to mind.

Feijoada is a staple in the entire country for its hearty black beans and cured pork. You’ll also think of churrasco for the meat-loving Hispanic in you.

You’ll never imagine, however, that some of the best Brazilian food is fish.

We’re talking about Moqueca. It’s one of those delicious foods that any full-blooded Brazilian will enjoy.

But what is this delicious dish? Why do you need to go to a Moqueca Brazilian restaurant now?

Here’s what you need to know.

1. What is Brazilian Moqueca?

For the uninitiated, the Moqueca Brazilian cuisine is a saltwater fish stew. Any tropical fish will work on this delicious dish, from black sea bass to Mahi-mahi. The fish combines with plantain slices and coconut milk to make a sweet, savory consistency.

For those who want a nice kick, you can prepare some Piri-Piri hot sauce. In a Moqueca restaurant, you’ll find this Brazilian seafood dish served with some farofa. Farofa is cassava or corn flour toasted, used as an accompaniment to many dishes.

Pir Piri Hot Sauce for Moqueca in a jar in white table
Piri Piri Hot Sauce

Brazilians stew Moqueca with common veggies around Brazil. This includes:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Red bell peppers
  • Chives
  • Plantains

In the more common iterations, the delicious Brazilian Moqueca will have some shrimp as a second source of protein as well. This is one of the best Brazilian foods you need to try as soon as possible!

2. A Quick, Rich History of Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine

So, where does a Moqueca restaurant get its delicious fish dish? This delicious dish has the same colorful history as the sweet Dulce de Leche. The cuisine hails from the people of Espirito Santo in Southeast Brazil. The stew goes under rigorous preparation in clay pots and goes for hours on end.

You might stumble upon a Northern variation in a Moqueca Brazilian restaurant. This is likely the northern Bahia state variety, which goes with Dende oil instead of olive oil. Dende oil comes from a small, mesocarp fruit that has a thick, rich flavor.

Moqueca Capixaba served in a white bowl
Moqueca Capixaba

For those who want the authentic Espirito Santo style, you want to ask for moqueca capixaba. This is a gentler, healthier version with a Portuguese twist. It uses olive oil and lots of other seafood like crabs, lobsters, and even crayfish.

There is even a rarer version that uses raw bananas for a side dish.

3. Why Visit a Moqueca Brazilian Restaurant?

Why do you need to taste of Brazil’s best-kept secret? For starters, this delicious dish has a nice, subtle flavor. It’s still distinct, but you know you’re eating something that speaks of Brazilian culture with every bite. Every herb and spice helps accentuate the light taste of the fish for a wonderful experience with every spoonful.

The coconut milk also retains all the freshness of the herbs and vegetables. With the chilis, it gets a nice, sweet-spicy incendiary that anyone can enjoy. Eat it with plantains or cassava and you’ll be sure to get a hearty meal.

Brazilian Moqueca can help introduce you to the flavors hidden within Brazil’s borders. If you binged on Brazilian Churrasco, this is a healthier alternative.

Enjoy Moqueca and Other Brazilian Foods Today

Moqueca Brazilian Stew served in white platter
Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew

For anyone looking into a foray into authentic Brazilian cuisine, moqueca is the taste you want to start with. Delicious, savory, sweet and spicy all at the same time, we’re sure you’d fall further in love with Brazilian cookery!

But there is more to Brazilian food then its main dishes. Check out these 11 Brazilian Desserts You’ve Never Heard of-and Won’t Ever Forget.

If you’re looking for authentic flavors of Latin food, you need the right guide to such gustatory delights. Amigo Foods is your best friend.

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