Brazilian Moqueca is a healthy, flavorful Instant Pot fish stew that is done in under 30 minutes. It's fast, easy, low carb, and incredibly delicious.
What Makes This Fish Stew So Great?
- Low Carb. While it isn't one of my lowest-carb recipes, it still has only 13 net carbs per serving.
- Fast. You'll be eating moqueca in less than 30 minutes.
- Easy. This is a simple one pot Instant Pot recipe.
- Delicious. Cooking under pressure helps infuse all of the flavors of the fish, vegetables, and spices into the stew.
What is Moqueca?
Moqueca is a seafood soup, or a fish stew and is classically Brazilian. It has a flavorful tomato and coconut milk base and is full of healthy veggies.
How Do You Pronounce Moqueca?
You're going to love this recipe so much, you'll want to tell your friends about it. I promise. Instead of calling it something boring like "fish stew", add a little flair by calling it Brazilian Moqueca.
But you're going to want to know how to pronounce it before you run out and make yourself sound silly. Don't worry, I have your back.
It's pronounced mo-KEH-kah. Super easy. Just like this recipe.
What Does Moqueca Taste Like?
In short, it tastes amazing. This Brazilian Moqueca recipe is bursting with an array of flavors from the great healthy ingredients. You'll love the rich flavors of tomato sauce, paprika, and coconut milk. Moqueca has the perfect amount of seafood flavor and still has a brightness from the lemon juice you use to finish the dish.
Ingredients For Moqueca
- Melted Coconut Oil
- Minced Garlic
- Smoked Paprika
- Bell Peppers
- Green Onions
- chopped cilantro
- Kosher Salt
- Firm white fish such as Tilapia
How To Make This Brazilian Moqueca Recipe
- Heat. Turn the Instant Pot on Saute. When the pot shows HOT, add coconut oil. Add garlic and paprika and briefly saute.
- Stir. Mix in onions, bell pepper, green onions, tomato, cilantro, and salt.
- Pour. Add in water and frozen fish.
- Shut it. Close the lid.
- Cook. Select PRESSURE COOK. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes and then release all remaining pressure.
- Add. Stir in coconut milk and lemon juice.
- Serve. Enjoy your fish stew.
Tips and Tricks for Making Fish Stew
- Coconut Milk. Do not cook the coconut milk under pressure. Add after cooking the other ingredients in your Instant Pot so that it doesn't curdle.
- Vegetables. You can add any quick-cooking vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, or mushrooms to bulk up this fish stew.
- Seafood. Use any combination of shrimp or firm white fish in this moqueca recipe. If you need another idea to use up the rest of your bag of frozen mixed seafood, try my Cioppino recipe.
- Paprika. Use sweet smoked paprika (the same one I use in my Hungarian Porkolt recipe) unless you want a little bit of spice. If you have extra paprika you can always use it in Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala.
What Do You Serve With Brazilian Fish Stew?
This fish stew recipe is in my Instant Pot Healthy cookbook. So if you're looking for some more healthy recipes to serve alongside this Brazilian Moqueca, it has over 100 to choose from.
If you're looking for some simple "non-recipe" ideas to supplement this soup, you might try:
- A side salad
- Crusty bread
- Rice on the side or mixed into the fish stew.
- Cauliflower rice if you're eating low carb.
If you want to make it a full Brazilian meal, you can make this recipe for Pao De Queijo Brazilian Cheese Bread and finish it off with some Brazilian Grilled Pineapple.
How Long Does It Last?
Once you make this fish stew, you'll want to use it within 3-5 days for the best results. After that amount of time, the fish will begin to deteriorate and the veggies will get soft.
Can You Freeze It?
Yes! You can definitely freeze this soup. Store it in a freezer-safe container or use souper cubes. Reheat and eat within 3 months for best results.
Other Great Instant Pot Seafood Recipes
- Patra Ni Machhi
- Low Country Boil
- Instant Pot Salmon with Orange Ginger Glaze
- Instant Pot Quinoa Salad
- Nigerian Fried Rice
- Fish Saag
- Haddock with Spinach
- Cioppino Seafood Stew
- Ginger Scallion Fish
Eating healthy doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor. This Fish Stew is absolutely packed with it. If you love Brazilian Moqueca as much as I do, make sure you share the recipe with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest so they can try it too.
- 2 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
- 1.5 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 cups Bell Peppers
- 4-5 stalks Green Onions, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
- 2 cups Tomatoes
- .5 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Water
- 1 pound firm white fish such as Tilapia
- .5 cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Heat the Instant Pot on Saute. When the pot shows HOT, add coconut oil. Add garlic and paprika and sizzle for about 5 seconds. Stir in onions, bell pepper, green onions, tomato, cilantro, and salt.
- Add in water and frozen fish.
- Close the lid. Select PRESSURE COOK and set the pot at high pressure for 1 minute. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes and then release all remaining pressure.
- Stir in coconut milk and lemon juice. Serve.
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Made tonight. I had three colored peppers, mushrooms. The cilantro that I bought a few days ago was already too far gone. And the point of making it was to use up some mystery fish in the freezer. Turns out I had a pound each of scallops and shell on shrimp. So it’s turning into a Peel ‘N Eat meal. Smells really really good. LOL.(need to let it cool a bit more.)
Can I use coconut cream instead of milk ?
I made this the other day and it was fantastic! My husband has requested that I make it again several times, planning to make it again tonight. Thanks!
What quantity of canned whole or diced tomatoes can I use instead of two cups of fresh tomatoes? Also, if I use frozen cod, which is thicker than talapia, would the cook and release times be the same?
I’d use a cup to cup and a half Of canned tomatoes. 2 mins should do it for frozen cod.
Sorry, without at least a small amount dende oil (red palm oil) in the recipe, the taste of this stew has nothing to do with Brasilian moqueca. You achieved a similar color with paprika, which never appears in real moqueca, but the overall taste is more like a Portuguese or Spanish fish stew. Normally I love your recipes but this one is a dud.
I sometimes choose to write recipes to be accessible to a wider audience. I think food unites us, and being able to introduce people to foods from different cultures is important to me. I wrote a Nigerian recipe with red palm. oil--and no one made it because people don't buy an ingredient for one recipe. So sometimes I trade off accessibility for how the recipe might traditionally be made. The joy of home cooking, of course, is that you can put red palm oil if you prefer.
Martin H Jacoby
I made this for my wife because if fish isn't breaded and fried and has bacon somewhere then I'm not really interested but this just looked really good!! She gave it 5 STARS! I did make some changes because of what I had and then used some of the tricks/modifications that Urvashi Pitre mentioned. Here's what I did: Used cod and shrimp (frozen). Added broccoli and cauliflower. Used one can of diced tomatoes in place of "tomatoes." Used one cup of vegetable bullion in place of one cup of water. Used 1 tsp of dried Cilantro instead of fresh cilantro. Used three different colors of Bell Peppers. Added 1 tsp red pepper flakes. Finally, for the I'm off my diet extra, I toasted some croutons in some garlic infused oil. It was very tasty and quite filling and for my notes, my wife gave it an "A". I'll cetainly make it again!
Next time, depending on what I have, I might add some mushrooms and andouille sausage. (Then I won't have to eat the fish. LOL!!)