Bahia Style Moqueca – Brazilian Seafood Stew

(6 servings)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

This mild Bahian style stew is usually made with just fish, but I decided to add in shrimp and clams. The light flavor of the paprika and annatto seeds and the medley of vegetables reminds me of the festive spirit of Brazil and makes me yearn for the beach! This is our final recipe for Brazilian cuisine month! Served the stew with cheesy polenta, but it can just as well be had with rice or even fluffy couscous.


  • 1 pound white fish fillets sliced in medium pieces – Basa or Tilapia
  • ½ pound fresh shrimp
  • 10-12 manila clams
  • 2 large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green plantain
  • 1/2 turnip
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon annatto seeds
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Juice from a large lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Marinate the fish and shrimp with half the minced garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper and set aside.

In a vessel heat olive oil on medium flame. Add the onion and cook till golden brown. Add the garlic and annatto seeds (I bought them from and sautee. Add in the chopped tomatoes, paprika and a little salt. Cook till tomatoes are cooked and the oil starts coming out of the tomatoes. Skin and chop the green plantain in cubes. Add to the vessel and cook for 10-15 minutes. Slice the bell pepper and cook about 5 minutes. Thinly slice the turnip and add to the mix.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper.

Add in the shrimp and clams. Cook the clams till they open. Lastly add the fish and cook till done. Adjust the consistency of the stew with water if needed. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with polenta or rice!

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