Moqueca Capizaba Recipe | PBS Food

Moqueca is a Brazilian fish stew recipe made with salt water, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and often coriander; slowly cooked in a terra cotta casserole. The recipe appears courtesy of Fátima Langa in the Boston episode of No Passport Required.


Yield: 6 servings



  • 2 pounds fresh filet of any white fish (Stripped bass, Haddock, Grouper or Cod)
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, clean and devein (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tomato cut into fine slices for garnish
  • 1 ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 small onion cut into fine slices for garnish
  • 1 large bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of annatto seeds or urucum powder (found in Latin Market)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper or chile pepper (optional)


  1. Rinse the fish in cold water, cut it into 6 pieces of 3” inches wide; put in a bowl, add the lime juice and let it marinate.
  2. Cut all the vegetables and place in a bowl with cilantro, saving some cilantro for garnish
  3. Prepare the annatto oil color by simmering 1 spoon of annatto in ½ cup of olive oil. Stir constantly using medium heat, turn the heat off before starting to boil. Strain it and save.
  4. In a large clay pot casserole, slightly sauté the garlic with 2 tablespoons of the annatto for a few seconds.
  5. Add half of the vegetable mixture then arrange the pieces of fish in layers side by side on top of vegetables.
  6. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes; checking throughout to add water if needed and salt to taste.
  7. Add the remaining vegetable mixture in a layer covering the fish.
  8. Decorate with slices of tomatoes and slices of onions. Put some more olive oil if necessary.
  9. Add the shrimp (or any other kind of shellfish) sprinkle a bit of salt on top and let it cook for 3 to 5 more minutes.
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