Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Moqueca de Peixe

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  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4inch dice

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4inch dice

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4inch dice

1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4inch dice

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4inch dice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced

3 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice

1 can (14 1/2 ounce) canned coconut milk

6 green onions, white and light green parts only, finely sliced

1 pound sea scallops

1 pound monkfish fillets, cut into 1inch cubes

1 pound rock shrimp, shelled and deveined

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons dende oil (see Note)

1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut shards, lightly toasted, for garnish

2 limes, flesh cut into supremes and diced

Fried plantains, for serving (optional)

Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat a large castiron and enamel or other heavy casserole over low heat and add the olive oil. Sweat the onion and peppers together for about 5 minutes, or until nicely softened. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and chiles and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the fish stock and coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender. Add the green onions and all the fish, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more, stirring together gently twice during the cooking time. Add the lime juice, dende oil, and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve in large heated bowls, sprinkled with the toasted coconut and diced limes. Offer fried plantains and white rice on the side, if desired.

Cook’s Note

Dende oil is Brazilian palm oil, available in Latin American markets. Be sure to get the Brazilian rather than the West African product, which is much heavier. Or use half the amount of the West African palm oil and substitute vegetable oil for the other half.