With chunks of tender white fish in a richly spiced coconut broth, Moqueca is a hearty and healthy keto soup recipe. You need to give this Brazilian fish stew a try as soon as humanly possible!
Trust me when I say that you want to become acquainted with Moqueca, if you aren’t already. This easy and healthy Brazilian fish stew is so full of flavor, you won’t be able to put your spoon down.
I was unfamiliar with it myself until I was researching recipes for Keto Soups & Stews. But the ingredients appealed to me and I gave it a try. One bite and I was hooked (like a fish… get it???).
This is one recipe that stood out for me from that cookbook. I couldn’t stop thinking about the bright, bold flavors and the rich, delicious broth.
Given the popularity of my Keto Seafood Chowder, I decided you might enjoy this Brazilian Fish Stew recipe too!
Why you will love this recipe
I would love to tell you that I magically ketofied a high carb recipe, but Moqueca is pretty low carb as it is. I simply cut down on the onion and peppers to reduce the carbs without sacrificing flavor.
When I developed this recipe, I tried to stay close to the authentic flavors while using easily accessible ingredients. I like to think I did an admirable job. All I know is that my whole family loved it and we’ve made it multiple times since.
It’s one way I can get all of them to eat fish without complaint. The coconut broth is silky and rich, the fish is tender, and the flavors meld perfectly.
Classic Moqueca is usually served with rice. I like mine just in a bowl by itself but you could easily serve it with some cauliflower rice for the full experience.
Ingredients you need
- White fish: Because the fish is simmered for a while in the broth, choose fish with firm flesh. I like to use cod as it holds up well and becomes incredibly tender. You can actually use shrimp in addition to or in place of the fish.
- Coconut milk: Full fat coconut milk makes the broth velvety smooth and rich.
- Broth: You can use fish, vegetable, or chicken broth.
- Red pepper: Many recipes call for red and yellow peppers but I kept it simple by using a single red pepper. Slice it thinly so you get good distribution throughout the stew.
- Tomatoes: Fresh diced tomatoes give it a fresher color and flavor but canned works too.
- Onion: I kept the onion to one quarter cup, for flavor.
- Jalapeño: You can use a number of different chilies for Moqueca but jalapeños are the easiest to come by. Scrape out the seeds if you prefer things more mild. You can also skip it if you need to.
- Lime: What South American dish doesn’t do well with a bit of lime squeezed in at the end? I think it enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
- Cilantro: A sprinkle of chopped cilantro over the finished soup adds color and flavor.
- Seasoning and spices: Salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, coriander
Step by Step Directions
1. In a large skillet, melt the oil over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the onions and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the jalapeno, garlic, paprika, and coriander, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the chopped tomatoes.
3. Layer the fish on top of the vegetables and pour the coconut milk and broth over the fish. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
4. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Stir in the lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
There are actually several kinds of Moqueca, and this version is most similar to Moqueca Baiana (from Bahia). Most recipes call for palm oil but I used coconut oil because it’s easier to come by. But you could really use any healthy oil, like avocado or olive oil.
I call for full fat coconut milk because it’s more traditional and it gives the stew a richer, silkier quality. But if you’re looking to cut down on saturated fats, you can try light coconut milk. It won’t be quite the same but should still be delicious!
Frequently Asked Questions
Moqueca is a Brazilian seafood stew made with coconut milk, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. It features firm white fish and sometimes shrimp, and has a rich, flavorful broth.
Most recipes for this traditional dish are fairly low in carbs as it is. But I cut back on the onion and pepper to make it truly keto friendly. This recipe has 7.5g of carbs and 1.8g of fiber. So it has a net carb count of 5.7g per serving.
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe, because the fish and the peppers will change consistency in the freezing and thawing process. But you can store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Re-warm very gently in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.
Brazilian Fish Stew Recipe
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 medium red pepper thinly sliced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium jalapeno minced, seeds removed if you prefer less heat
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- 1 lb cod, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup vegetable, fish, or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Chopped cilantro
- In a large skillet, melt the oil over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the onions and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the jalapeno, garlic, paprika, and coriander, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the chopped tomatoes.
- Layer the fish on top of the vegetables and pour the coconut milk and broth over the fish. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Adjust the seasonings to taste. Stir in the lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.