There I was ‘flipping’ through my Flipboard feed catching up on news and interesting articles when my eye got caught on a rather startling and attractive food photo. Even more interesting was the headline keywords – Coconut milk and Palmoil. I never thought I would see these two in the same space. I clicked on the article and discovered Moqueca; a Brazilian recipe made from coconut milk and palmoil with sautéed fish steaks. Now this I had to try. So try it I did and I must add, it was such a simple, easy and seriously flavourful meal and I must have had seconds or thirds!

Moqueca is a Brazilian recipe based on salt water fish stew, tomatoes, onions, garlic and coriander and you can vary the vegetable ingredients as you’d like. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I culled the recipe inspiration from The Saveur  and switched up with a few of my own ingredients like adding cayenne pepper. Nothing like a little bit of spicy heat.

I had bought Tilda Basmati rice earlier from Palace Mall whilst browsing through the aisle for something different to prepare for lunch.

If you cannot make coconut milk from scratch then you can opt to buy a canned one from the supermarket ( Max Mart, Marina Mall).

The outcome of the recipe reminded me so much of the Fisherman’s soup I made sometime back and I couldn’t help but wonder if this recipe was re-created by the West African slaves in Brazil during the Atlantic slave trade era. I could really taste the influence of our Fisherman’s soup in there.


It’s a hearty, flavourful and light dish which wouldn’t make you pass out from heavy carbs thanks to the lightness of the long-grain Basmati rice.

Here’s my version of the recipe. Do try it out and I would love to hear your feedback! Had Moqueca before? Do share in the comments below.

5 from 1 reviews

5 from 1 reviews
Brazilian Coconut Milk & Palm Oil Fish Soup (Moqueca)
Recipe type: Healthy
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 3
  • 2 Medium-sized Red Onions
  • 2 Medium-sized Red Snappers cut into steaks
  • 2 Sweet Green peppers
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons of Palm Oil
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Fresh Cayenne pepper chopped
  • 3 Tbs Lemon juice
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 Medium-sized tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Cilantro leaves chopped finely
  1. Descale, clean and gut the red snapper. Pat dry. Cut across the spine into 2-inch steaks. Season fish with lemon juice, salt, dry thyme and set in fridge for 30minutes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a deep-frying pan over medium-heat. Fry the fish plus the marinade for 5 minutes on each side until the liquid evaporates. This will prevent the fish from disintegrating into the sauce.
  3. Add the palm oil, onions and cayenne pepper to the fish to cook. Allow onions to become slightly transparent, this will take place within 60 seconds.
  4. Pour in coconut milk and ½ cup of water. All sauce to come to a boil, immediately reduce to a simmer when boiling starts. Turn fish steaks gently in sauce.
  5. Add tomatoes, cilantro, scallions to the simmering sauce to cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on dry thyme.
  6. Flavour with salt as needed.
  7. Enjoy with steamed white Basmati rice or regular white rice.