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Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

Similar to the Italian’s seafood stew, Cioppino, this Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe) is so easy and delicious, with just a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk. You can prepare this dish with just fish or with a combination of your favorite fish and shellfish. 

Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe) by FamilySpice.com

To say that we love seafood is an understatement. Shellfish more than fish. I grew up in Texas and that means the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Shrimp. It isn’t just a slogan that everything is big in Texas. The shrimp is, too.

My husband loves seafood as much as  I do, and we are always exploring new ways to enjoy these beauties. So finding this recipe for Brazilian Seafood Stew in an an old Cooking Light magazine was a real find.

The first time I tried this recipe was when I was a newlywed and I wanted to impress my new hubby. Boy, was he impressed! It was super easy to make (I didn’t let out that secret!) and his eyes popped when I presented him his bowl.

This is the recipe I turn to when we have a severe hankering for seafood, or when I want to impress some very special dinner guests. And I always get request to make it again.

Cioppino versus Moqueca de Peixe

Cioppino is the Italian version of the seafood stew. Usually a combination of fresh fish, shrimp, clams and other seafood cooked with tomatoes, red wine, garlic, basil, oregano and parsley. Cioppino is served with spaghetti or some real hearty bread.

Moqueca de Peixe is a Brazilian seafood stew cooked with tomatoes, coconut milk, bell peppers, garlic and cilantro. The vegetables are pureed and provide a delicious base to any seafood you add.

After making this dish for over 10 years 20 years, my hubby’s eyes still pop and he still proclaims this to be the best Cioppino ever… Well, he gets the name wrong, but I will still take the compliment!

Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe) by FamilySpice.com

Yield: serves 6

Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

Similar to the Italian's seafood stew, Cioppino, this dish is so easy and delicious, with just a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk. You can prepare this dish with just fish or with a combination of your favorite fish and shellfish.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb large shrimp (21-25 count)
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1/2 lb squid
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup minced green onions
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 28 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 16 oz clam juice
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 mussels, cleaned
  • 1 crag leg


  1. In a large bowl combine lime juice, salt, pepper, 2 crushed garlic cloves, shrimp, scallops and squid. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 mins.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil
  3. When oil has heated, add chopped onions, bell pepper, green onions, 3 crushed garlic cloves and bay leaf.
  4. Cook vegetables for about 6 mins., stirring occasionally.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high then add tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chicken broth and clam juice.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 mins. Discard bay leaf.
  7. If using a hand blender, puree vegetables in the pot until smooth.
  8. If using a blender, allow to cool to room temperature and purée in batches until smooth and return to pot.
  9. Stir in coconut milk and cayenne pepper to vegetable mixture.
  10. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 3 mins. Mix in marinated fish mixture, mussels and crab.
  11. Cover pot and cook 3-5 minutes or until seafood is done and mussels have opened.
  12. Discard any mussels that have not opened and serve.


Serve alone as a soup with crusty bread or add some pasta, like linguine.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bowl

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 467 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 313mg Sodium: 1779mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Protein: 57g
Brazilian Seafood Stew (Moqueca de Peixe) Detail