Adapted from Iron Pots & Wooden Spoons by Jessica B. Harris
The original recipe from Dr. Harris’s classic book has no chile included. Being that moqueca is sometimes served with hot sauce, I figured that a touch of chile heat would be welcome. The pepper’s green kick complements the richness of the dish. Pick your pepper based on how spicy—or not—you want your moqueca. It should not be a conflagration.
- Place the fish steaks in a bowl with the garlic, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and a fair number of grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat.
- While the fish is marinating, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, green bell pepper, chile, cilantro, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, another 5 minutes or so.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the fish, along with its marinade. Cook, flipping each steak once halfway through, until the steaks are nearly cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the coconut milk and dende oil, and simmer until the fish is cooked, another minute or so. Check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice and/or farofa.
Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He has worked in magazines, kitchens, newsletters, restaurants and a bunch of other environments he can’t remember right now. He has also been the editor in chief of both liquor.com and Tasting Table.