Brazilian Stew (Muqueca)

An exotic Brazilian seafood stew from Paulo Black-Santos, served with basmati rice and Brazilian-style onions.
Brazilian Stew (Muqueca)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus soaking
  • Effort: medium


  • 800 g monkfish tails
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 white onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 500 g clams
  • 400 g tin coconut milk
  • 35 g dried shrimps
  • 4 tbsp palm oil
  • bunch of coriander, trimmed and chopped
  • good squeeze of fresh lime juice

For the rice:

  • 250 g basmati rice, washed and soaked in warm salted water for at least 3 hours or overnight
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

For the Brazilian onions:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 white onion, finely sliced
  • 150 g farinha di mandioca, (Brazilian flour)
  • black pepper


1. Prepare the monkfish fish by removing the skin and membrane and cutting out the bone. Divide the flesh into four portions.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions and garlic, and gently fry for 5-7 minutes until soft.

3. Heat the remaining oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the monkfish lightly, then add the vegetables and clams. Cover the pan tightly and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan, until the clam shells open. Discard any that have not opened.

4. Stir in the coconut milk, shrimps, palm oil, coriander and lime juice. Simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, drain the rice. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan. Add the garlic and, when the pan is very hot, add the drained rice. Stir for a few seconds to coat the rice grains. Pour in enough water to cover, then bring to the boil. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

6. For the onions, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan. When very hot, add the onion and fry over high heat until crispy and golden. Remove from the pan with a perforated spoon and drain on paper towel.

7. Melt the remaining butter in the pan in which you cooked the onion. Stir in the farinha, then return the onions to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. Serve the stew with the rice and onions.

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