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Souperchef Creation: Moqueca Barramundi
Just two months back, I had one of the best home-cooked Brazilian meals, the Moqueca Capixaba. Moqueca is a classic dish from Brazil, and there are two main styles, Baiana and Capixaba. The Bahian version is characterized by seafood, coconut milk, peppers, onions and tomatoes. Usually moqueca is coloured to a rich brick red by dende oil, an African red palm oil. The Capixaba style hails from the state of Espírito Santo and is influenced by native Brazilian cuisine dating back over 300 years and does not typically contain coconut milk or dende. The stew is traditionally cooked in a pan called Panela de barro (clay pot) – still made in the same techniques as the native Indians of Brazil did centuries ago.
In the state of Espírito Santo, which hugs the Atlantic coastline of Brazil between Rio and Bahia, seafood, fish, and crustaceans form the backbone of the cuisine. Espírito Santo is best known for its Moqueca Capixaba. Unlike the moqueca popular in Bahia, here the seafood stew is seasoned with urucum (achiote or annatto), a pigment that gives it a reddish color.
We were most privileged to have met Rogerio in Singapore last year. A jolly and talented man, Rogerio was a fantastic cook! A passionate home chef, he is very influenced by his aunt’s cooking, and we were honoured when he came over to our place and taught us his aunt’s recipe of Moqueca Capixaba. Over the cookout that Rogerio has generously availed himself to, we learned how cooking was the glue to his family and his language of love.
Our version is a mashup between the two styles made with locally sourced barramundi fish from Kühlbarra, peppers, tomatoes, tapioca, lots of coriander and a little coconut milk to finish it off. A gorgeous Brazilian stew steeped so deeply in love and stories. Thank you Rogerio for the inspiration and for sharing your recipe with me!
Ingredients: Kühlbarra barramundi fish, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, tomatoes, tapioca, chillies, coriander, onions, garlic, ginger, coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves, paprika and lemons.
Condiments: Lime wedge and homemade coriander parsley pesto (coriander, parsley, olive oil, peanuts).
(Fish / Dairy-free / Gluten-free / Alcohol-free) * May contain fine fish bones!