Brazilian Salmon Moqueca

Brazilian Salmon Moqueca

My first introduction to authentic Brazilian moqueca was not stellar. I had often prepared salmon moqueca at home and it was a family favorite. However in Brazil, I tried a crab moqueca, thinking it would be the delicious and sweet Dungeness crab we have here in the Northwest. Instead, it was crab, shells and all in the familiar tomatoey coconut base. Not at all soft shell crab, it poked my gums, my mouth, not yielding even a little bit to my attempts to chew it. No meat, just small pieces of bone…..I gave up, and shared the entrees of my son and my husband…delicious! 

This is my moqueca, and although probably not the most authentic, they get their salmon from Chile, it is Brazilian in spirit, and amazingly delicious. 



Originating in Brazil, the Moqueca definition sounds about as delicious as sushi defined as cold dead fish!  “Moqueca, (pronounced  mu ke ka)  is a type of salt water fish stew cooked in coconut milk, cilantro, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.”  However it is pronounced, or it’s origins, I say it is one of my favorite meals. I first found a recipe in Sunset magazine a few years ago not knowing it was Brazilian in origin.  Later, when we went to Brazil for our son’s wedding to an incredible Brazilian woman, I found it was Brazilian.

I hope that you will try this as you are watching the Olympics. Feel free to use your favorite fish, shrimp, salmon, crab, mussels, or whatever you have.


The ingredients including tomatoes, garlic, green onions and cilantro are prepared and set aside.  Beautiful and fresh….use organic roma’s from your farmers market if you can.


Starting with about 2 pounds of wild Coho salmon, (I usually use wild sockeye), I remove the pin bones with a needle nose pliers.


Then, cook the salmon, skin down so that you can remove the skin more easily.

 Remove salmon to  a 9x13 pan, here I have used a pyrex pan.


Put the vegetables in the pan and cook down so most of the liquid is cooked out.

Add coconut milk and some of the cilantro.

Pour over the salmon and put into oven, preheated to 350°F  Cook for about 30 minutes to internal temperature of about 125°F-135°F 


It is done!!!

I would have had a better picture of the plated dinner, but we were so eager to eat, that after prayer, we just dug in…..until I remembered. YUMMMM!!!



Salmon Moqueca


2 lbs wild salmon or seafood of choice
Coconut oil as needed
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped green onions, 1 bunch, whites and greens
1/2-1 cup chopped roma tomatoes
2 teaspoon paprika (I use hungarian sweet)
1 cup or more of coconut milk - whole fat, not light
6 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided   (to taste)
1 Cup sour cream or whole fat greek yogurt  (optional )
Rice for serving, probably 6 cups for 4 people.



  • Melt coconut oil in pan
  • Brown bottom of salmon and flip over so that the skin can be easily removed
  • Put the salmon in 9x13 pan
  • Add garlic, green onions, tomatoes in pan and reduce
  • Add paprika and heat for 10 seconds
  • Add coconut milk
  • Stir, mixing ingredients evenly,
  • Add about 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Pour over salmon, cook at 350°F for about 30 minutes
  • Remove from oven, and stir in sour cream/yogurt if desired
  • Serve over or alongside the rice, sprinkle with chopped cilantro to taste

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  • Nancy Oar
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