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Buttery Brazilian Fish Stew - how to make moqueca.

Buttery Brazilian Fish Stew



  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 6 tablespoons, unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 Teaspoons fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 and 1/8 Teaspoon salt, divided
  • sprinkling of ground black pepper
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cups seafood stock
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 12 shrimp (6 jumbo, 6 regular) uncooked – remove shells and keep for broth
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 russet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/3 lb sea bass


  1. In large dutch oven, add 4 Tablespoons butter on medium heat and let melt.
  2. Add onion.
  3. Stir somewhat continuously for 2-4 minutes or until onions start to cook down.
  4. Push onions to the sides of the pan and add garlic in the middle.
  5. Add grapeseed oil on top of garlic and let it cook until you can start to smell it.
  6. Then mix garlic and onion together and continue to let it cook down for another minute.
  7. Add celery, a sprinkling of ground black pepper and 1/8 Teaspoon salt and let that cook down with the garlic and onion, still stirring, for another 2-4 minutes.
  8. Add seafood stock, tomatoes, coconut milk, paprika, red pepper flakes and 1 Teaspoon salt.
  9. Stir.
  10. Take shrimp shells and place in pan with ingredients.
  11. Cover and let simmer for at least 1 hour, longer if desired.
  12. Add lime juice and cilantro.
  13. Get a skillet ready and cut your sea bass into large chunks – season with a little salt and pepper.
  14. Remove shrimp shells from pot.
  15. Add potatoes and shrimp and mix.
  16. Cover and let simmer.
  17. Meanwhile, you are going to sear your sea bass in two batches. For each batch you will take 1 Tablespoon of butter and place in pan and let melt on med-high heat.
  18. You are just searing as many sides of the sea bass as possible, you don’t have to worry about cooking it all the way through, it will finish cooking in the pot.
  19. Sear all sea bass chunks and then place in dutch oven.
  20. Make sure you scrape the bottom of skillet (add a splash of seafood stock to the skillet if you need to loosen it) and then pour into pot.
  21. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  22. Taste and add any additional salt or pepper or red pepper flakes.
  23. Serve with rice, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.