Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Brazil's Famous Bahian Fish Dish (Moqueca de Peixa Baiana: (moo-KAY-ka Jhee PAY-shah) garnished with chopped Cilantro and Hard-Boiled Egg Wedges. Just loving my Brasilian lineage and the foods of my culture, this is an homage to Bahia and to Brasil. Saute and simmer all the other ingredients as long as you like, until tender, but Do NOT ADD the fish until 5-8 minutes before serving depending on the thickness if the fish. That said, you can add a piece or two to the saute for added flavor. I also use two tablespoons of Fish Sauce. This is to be ideally cooked very slowly so that the flavors can blend thoroughly. I'm going to try cooking in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours and then adding the fish JUST prior to serving. Serve over white rice, with lime wedges. Side dishes: sauteed collards or spinach and garlic and also cold orange slices.
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 serrano chili, red (diced)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs tilapia fillets, cut into three by three inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 large bell peppers, diced
- 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (16 ounce) canwhole coconut milk (Or 'lite' if desired)
- 2 tablespoons palm oil (optional but really makes a difference in authenticity)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- Set eggs on to boil.
- Stir together the lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper in a non-reactive bowl. Add the Tilapia and GENTLY toss with your fingers to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes being careful not to let the fish "cook" in the lime juice.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and the diced chilies until onions are transparent and beginning to lightly brown. Wash hands thoroughly after handling the chilies.
- Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the tomato paste.
- Add the bell peppers and diced tomatoes to the pot in succeeding layers. Pour the coconut milk over the mixture. Stir well but gently.
- Cover the pot and simmer on lowest heat for 15- 30 minutes or until the peppers are at a consistency you like, stirring occasionally.
- Gently add the fish, marinade and 2/3 of the chopped and stemmed cilantro and continue cooking until the fish is thoroughly cooked. Allow 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.
- Ladle or gently pour the Moqueca into a large serving bowl, garnish with boiled egg wedges on top and finish with remaining chopped cilantro.
- Serve over white rice, with lime wedges. Side dishes: sauteed collards or spinach and garlic. For dessert, cold orange slices. Also a good accompaniment: Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) ( it's gluten/wheat free)!
- Slow Cooker Variation:.
- Place ALL ingredients including the marinade in the slow cooker EXCEPT the FISH pieces and cilantro). Cook 6 to 8 hours (overnight) on low and then to WARM.
- 1 hour prior to serving, return cooker to LOW: ADD half the cilantro and the fish.
- Gently spoon sauce over fish pieces and allow fish to cook for 1 hour until the fish is cooked through. Garnish and serve as described above.
This is a delicious recipe; excellent flavors that brought back memories of Bahia. It's a favorite go-to dish at home and is great for having friends over. Simple to prepare and gets better the longer the flavors have to blend together. Highly recommended.