Monday, October 1, 2012

Brazilian Fish Stew (NOT Moqueca)

My student taught me this recipe for a fish stew using a fish called pescada. (The English name is of the fish is weakfish or sea trout, but I imagine that any thin white fish filet can be used.) My student even took me to the farmer's market to meet her fish guy!

I'll try to type out the recipe as simply as possible so you can see how easy it really is.

You have 3 options for the fish:
1. You can add it directly to the stew and boil it with the vegetables
2. You can fry it on the side and treat the "stew" as a side dish.
3. You can skip it all together, or you can add chicken or another protein.

This recipe explains Option #2, with a simple note to guide you if you choose to make #1.

Pescada Stew

4-5 Pescada filets (they look like this, and the fish guy at the market will cut the fish for you)
2 fresh tomatoes (see picture below for chopping ideas)
1 can of tomatoes (or just more fresh tomatoes, chopped up in the food processor so they're liquidy)
5-6 cloves of garlic (more or less, depending on your taste)
2 onions
1 large eggplant
1 small green bell pepper
A few olives
1 lime
Olive oil

If you're frying your fish, you'll need flour and  fubá  (a.k.a. fine yellow cornmeal)
Feel free to add more spices that you like.

Optional: Rice, to serve as a side dish


1. Marinate the fish in the olive oil, lime, salt, pepper, and oregano. Marinate it for 1 to 8 hours.

2. Heat up some olive oil and add in the garlic, onion, and fresh tomatoes. Heat them until they're soft.

3. Add in your can of tomatoes, if you're using it. Heat and mix. Heat and mix.

4.Add in the salt, oregano, pepper, eggplant, green bell pepper, and olives. Cook covered until the eggplant goes soft. Stir occasionally.

5. If you're adding the fish directly to the stew, do it now. You only need to cook it for about 3-5 minutes.

6. If you're frying the fish, dip the filets in a mixture of fubá (cornmeal) and flour (4 parts cornmeal to 1 part flour). Don't use egg. Then fry them in a generous amount of hot olive oil (not completely covered in oil, but you're not just lightly grilling them, either).

Then serve it all together:
Ta-da! It tastes much better than my picture looks, I promise.


  1. My tio-in-law (aka Paulo's uncle) makes this and it is SO GOOD! Nice nice!

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  3. Nice food you got there, I want to try this for my family. Its like lechon manok in Philippines