Brazilian Fish Stew is
Brazilian Fish Stew
For many people, stews are a staple of the cooler season and considered a comfort food perfect for a chilly afternoon.
I must confess that I am not one of those people.
I must be crazy, right?? I don't know why, but I am just not usually tantalized by stews. They don't really appeal to me most of the time. It has to be a pretty amazing stew recipe to get my attention.
This stew, however, has my total attention! And I think it will catch your attention too!
There are so many appetizing flavors layered in this dish, from the tangy lime to the creamy coconut milk. Bell peppers, onion, and tomatoes contribute additional splashes of flavor and color and texture.
A sprinkle of cilantro adds that extra bit of yum.
If you usually like fish stews or stews in general, this is a must-try
Best Fishes for a Fish Stew
Tilapia gets a bad rep, but I think that it's perfect for fish soup and fish stew recipes. It's not super fishy tasting, and it cooks easily. In soups and stews, I find that tilapia adds texture and makes it hearty.
Using tilapia for this fish stew recipe was perfect because it's mildly-flavored, but dense in texture. If you can't easily find tilapia, the best fish to use in this recipe is any white fish, like cod, haddock, or grouper.
Fish stew is even better the next day! So, if you have leftovers of this Brazilian fish stew, heat it up the next day. My favorite thing to do is to eat it with my favorite sausage mozzarella sandwich.
Ingredients for Fish Stew Recipe
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- tilapia fillets - a nice mild fish, it's firm enough to stand up in this stew.
- bell pepper and onion strips - use frozen to make this recipe in a flash!
- canned diced tomatoes - a stable in most every kitchen!
- light coconut milk - adds sweet, nutty creamy flavor
- cilantro - for bright freshness
- lime juice - for a bit of juicy tanginess
- olive oil - to sauté the vegetables, plus it adds another layer of flavor to this stew.
- garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper - a simple marinade for the fish!
Fish Stew Recipe
How long will fish stew keep?
Because this is a great make-ahead soup, it's best on day two. But you can keep this refrigerated for 3-4 days.
What is another name for fish stew?
There are many fish or seafood stews, actually almost every country has their own version! Brazilian fish stew is also called Moqueca, and then there is Bouillabaisse from France, Cioppino from San Francisco (which is a version of an Italian stew), or Maeutang, a spicy Korean stew. You can find a complete listing of stews (with recipes!) here!!!
What fish is best in this soup?
Traditionally a firm white fish is chosen for this meal - halibut or cod. However you can mix it up with snapper, haddock, or grouper, but I chose tilapia.
Tilapia has such a mild flavor. It's a lean protein and very affordable. Since it doesn't taste very fishy even the kids loved this meal!
What do you serve with fish stew?
Bread, of course, to sop up the amazing broth in this stew! Here are some of my favorite bread recipes that are easy to make and perfect with this meal!
How to make Brazilian Fish Stew - Step by Step
Step 1.Mix lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Step 2.Add the tilapia and mix until coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 20 minutes or longer.
Step 3.Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the peppers and onions and cook until they begin to thaw.
Step 4.Add the tomatoes and marinated tilapia.
Step 5.Pour the coconut milk over everything, cover, and simmer.
Step 6.In the last few minutes, stir in the cilantro (optional).
Why make this soup?
- quick and easy family dinner!
- very little clean-up because it's a one-pot meal!
- family favorite - everyone loved it!!
...that includes Thing 2! 😲 I know, right? No one was more surprised than me!
On a side note, if you are a frequent reader, you may be wondering if Thing 2 actually ate the tomatoes. And you will likely not be surprised that he did not eat them.
He carefully examined every bite and removed even the smallest trace of tomato. *shaking my head* Oh, Thing 2, you are so silly!
More of my favorite soup recipes from the blog
What's your favorite fish stew or soup recipe?
Variations for Brazilian Fish Stew
- If you have time, use fresh bell peppers instead of frozen (2 large, sliced into strips).
- Similarly, you can use fresh onion instead of frozen (1 large, chopped).
- Try different types of mild white fish (cod, haddock, grouper, etc).
- Try it with shrimp, or even a frozen seafood medley!
- Throw in some cooked rice or pasta for a heartier meal.
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
Brazilian Fish Stew
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1.5 tablespoons cumin
- 1.5 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper
- 2 pounds tilapia fillets, cut in half (they can be frozen, just thaw slightly to cut)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces frozen pepper and onion strips (1 bag)
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes, drained (1 can)
- 14 ounces light unsweetened coconut milk (1 can)
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Combine the lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add in the tilapia and mix until coated.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 20 minutes or so.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onions and cook until they begin to thaw, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and marinated tilapia and mix them in.
- Pour the coconut milk over everything, mix and cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the last few minutes, stir in the cilantro (optional).
- When the tilapia is cooked through, garnish with additional cilantro (if desired) and serve.
- Make the marinade and coat the tilapia ahead of time (even the night before!) and store in the refrigerator. This will save time when you are ready to cook.
- Marinating time is optional. Marinating results in the best flavor, but the times that I have skipped that step because of time constraints, the stew still turned out delicious.
- If you want to use fresh peppers and onions, use 2 large bell peppers, cut into strips, and 1 medium onion, chopped.
- The coconut milk may be a little lumpy when you first add it, but as it cooks it will combine with the rest of the stew.
- The fish is done when it starts to flake as you stir. It is best to not overcook, so pay attention and remove from heat when that happens.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com. I've served Brazilian Fish
Looking for more seafood?
I kinda get on a kick with ingredients, so if you're looking for more seafood or fish to add to your diet, here are some of my favorites!