moqueca with pineapple, avocado, and lemon and basil infused jasmine rice

 

My personal take on this refreshing Brazilian coconut and fish soup. This is the undeniably perfect dish whether you're fighting off the winter rain or soaking in the summer shine. 

Moqueca with lemon and basil jasmine rice

Ingredients

Serves 2

for the soup:

  • 2-3 Fish fillets 🐟
    Any white fish will do, but I usually use cod
  • 2-4 Limes
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 3 Tomatoes 🍅, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
    I'd recommend using 1/2 of two different colored peppers to have a nice color contrast on the plate 🎨
  • Spicy ground paprika, chopped chilies, habanero peppers, or hot sauce of your choosing 🔥
  • 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon honey 🍯
  • 1 can of coconut milk 🌴 (or ~ 12 oz. fresh)
  • Pineapple 🍍, chopped (optional)
  • Avocado 🥑, chopped (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

for the rice:

  • 1 Cup of jasmine rice 🍚

  • 3 slices of lemon 🍋

  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil 🌿

  • A dash of salt and pepper


to serve:

  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lime wedges

Method

for the soup:

  1. Salt and pepper both sides of the fish fillets and place into a nonreactive (nonmetal) bowl. Add the 2 cloves of chopped garlic, juice from ~ 2 limes (depends on the size of your bowl and amount of fish) and marinate for 20-30 minutes.

  2. Place a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add a splash of olive oil, followed by the chopped onion. Sautée until translucent.
  3. Add a pinch of salt, a dash of honey, and whichever ingredient you're using to add your kick of heat (spicy paprika, chilies, or hot sauce). Give the pot a good stir and allow to cook until just beginning to brown. Then, add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and bell peppers, stir, and cook for another 3-5 minutes until they're softened.
  5. Remove half of the vegetable mixture from the pot and reserve in a bowl. Place the marinated fish on top of the blanket of vegetables remaining in the pot, along with the leftover juices from the marinade, and then cover with the reserved vegetables.
  6. Add the coconut milk to the pot so it just covers the fish and vegetables. (If you need more liquid, either add more coconut milk or some water.) Bring to a simmer then reduce and cover until the fish is cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes. 
  7. Plate the finished moqueca into bowls and toss in some pineapple and avocado for a light and refreshing contrast to the spicy soup. Serve with a side of jasmine rice (recipe below) and garnish with a lime wedge and some freshly chopped parsley.
  8. Enjoy outside under the sun with a cold drink 🍹 in hand and/or inside a warm home with some hot mate tea 🍵 or Brazilian coffee ☕️

for the rice:

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water. Place into a saucepan along with 1.5 cups of cold water. (Remember, the rule is 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice 🤓 )
  2. Add lemon slices, sprigs of basil, salt and pepper to the pot. Give it a quick stir, put on the lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. 
  3. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow the rice to steam for 8 - 10 minutes. (Whatever you do, do NOT open the lid. Trust in your technique and have faith that the rice will turn out perfectly 🙏 )
  4. Once finished, remove the lemon slices and basil. Give the rice a quick fluff with a fork before serving.