A reinvented Brazilian dish: prawn moqueca

Prawn moqueca, a typical Brazilian dish. A real flavour explosion!

Moqueca is a typical Brazilian dish. It can be fish, shellfish or meat based. It is very popular on the Nordeste coast and there are many versions as cooks. The one that I present in this post is inspired by the moqueca as it is prepared in Bahía, with coconut milk. Traditionally, it has a beautiful golden yellow color, given by the red palm oil (Dende). Here, palm oil is replaced by tomato paste, to get a nice coral color.Another difference with the traditional moqueca: the amount of fresh tomatoes, which are the main ingredient in my variation of this recipe. You can serve it with rice and a salad, or with steamed vegetables.

From a nutritional standpoint, the prawns are low in calories while high in protein. Moreover, they are a source of Omega-3, phosphorus, selenium and vitamins B3 and B12. The tomatoes and green onions sauce will you provide antioxidants and coconut milk, with iron, manganese and copper. All this goodness in a nutritious, tasty and creamy dish. What more can you ask for?

Serves 2

  • 300 gr peeled prawns
  • 500 gr tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 225 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Chop tomatoes and pepper  into coarse dices.
  2. Finely chop the green onions and garlic. Fry them in a pan with high sides, using the vegetable oil.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, bell pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Bring to the boil, turn down to medium-low heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste. When it is boiling again, add the prawns and poach them in the sauce for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, sprinkl with lime huice and stirr thoroughly. Adjust seasoning if necessary
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

I wish you a nice culinary trip to Brazil!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yum, I pinned this. It’s perfect for our Baja Fresh shrimp.
    Thanks, Tracey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eleonora says:

      You are welcome, I am very happy you liked this! It is one of my favourite recipes. It is far from the original version, but way healthier 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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