Bahia-style Moqueca prawn stew

Bahia-style Moqueca prawn stew

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(46 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins plus chilling


Serves 4
A Brazilian-inspired seafood casserole with creamy coconut sauce, coriander garnish and plenty of sunshine spice

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal398
  • fat28g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein23g
  • salt0.6g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 450g large, raw, peeled prawn



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…

  • 75ml lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 onion, sliced into half moons



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 3 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • 400ml coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • steamed rice, to serve



    Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…


  1. Place the prawns in a bowl with 2 tbsp of the lime juice, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of the chopped garlic. Chill for 1 hr.

  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the spring onion and onion and fry for 5 mins, then add the red pepper, chilli flakes, paprika and remaining garlic.

  3. Pour in the tomatoes, coconut milk and a little salt. Bring to a simmer and let reduce for 10 mins. Add the prawns, all the marinade and remaining lime juice. Gently simmer until the prawns turn white, about 3 mins. Serve with the fresh coriander and rice.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
22nd Apr, 2020
Really nice but I thought the coconut milk masked a lot of the flavours! Will use less coconut/more of the other ingredients next time.
Brian 44
12th Sep, 2018
Didn't have coconut milk at the time so used coconut cream and fish stock instead, added tomato puree as well as others suggested and it turned out really nice! Will do again for sure
10th Jul, 2018
This is delicious and now a staple in our house! Easy for a midweek dinner but also impressive enough to cook for friends
bluewings2's picture
3rd Jun, 2018
Made this for a small dinner party and it went down a storm with my guests. So delicious, full of flavour and easy to make! I had the leftovers the next day which were even MORE delicious as it had time to soak up the flavours. Next time I'll leave it in the pot for 10 minutes after I've turned the heat off to absorb some flavours before serving. This will now be a regular dinner for me! A Brazilian friend advised that you could use chunks of any fish instead of prawns, but I liked the prawns just fine.
10th Aug, 2016
Just had this for dinner and it was absolutely lovely! We used a little less chilli than suggested and also put some scallops in it. Didn't have coconut oil so just used some melted butter. Will definitely have again!
15th Feb, 2016
I originally tried moqueca at Rainforest cafe in Florida and instantly fell in love. I'm sooo happy I've found this recipe, like falling in love all over again!
13th Jun, 2015
Fantastic recipe, cannot fault it! I used some cod in addition to prawns and it worked very well :)
10th Aug, 2016
What a splendid idea!
10th Jun, 2015
Excellent dish. Also works with fish cut in small pieces. And fresh tomatoes can be substituted with a small can of peeled and deseeded ones - saves time.
18th May, 2015
Delicious, easy and surprisingly light for a cream based sauce. Will make again


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
bluewings2's picture
3rd Jun, 2018
Leave it to sit in its juices for 10 minutes after you turn the heat off to soak up the flavours! You won't regret it.
2nd Sep, 2016
Not a bad rendition but to be called Bahian this dish should include Dendé palm oil specific to the region which gives it a very distinct taste (I have found it in the back aisles of some Asian stores). Also, would not marinate the prawns in lime juice for an hour, they will be completely over cooked. 10 mins at most and add at the very end of cooking. The dish would be greatly improved with the addition of some white fish and is traditionally served with pirou.
Eduardo curi
12th Aug, 2016
This recipe might taste good but definately is not authentic. Orange palm oil is mandatory in Bahia stews. In authentic brazilian cuisine we don´t use paprika either. This is a truly authentic recipe for another style of moqueca that comes from Espirito Santo, a state neighbouring Bahia: Moqueca Capixaba Fish stew from Espírito Santo Ingredients 1 seawater fish cut up transversaly in pieces 1'' thick (postas) 2 onions 2 tomatoes 1 tsp colorau Salt and black pepper Chile (optional) Coriander for garnish Juice of one lime For the pirão Fish´s head 2 cloves garlic Onion Colorau Salt and pepper Cassava flour Oil Method 30 minutes before cooking, season fish with salt and lime In a small sauce pan, stir fry the garlic, onion and colorau Add salt and put the head in Cover with boiling water and cook for 40/60 minutes Take the head off the water, remove and reserve the meat from it Strain the water and discard solids, returning the meat to the remaining liquid, reserve In a clay pot or a heavy saucepan layer the sliced onion, tomato and fish until finished Sprinkle with colorau, salt and pepper, turn on the heat, cover the pan and cook until fish is done Boil the fish´s head soup and add cassava flour little by little, stirring constantly so it won´t lump until you have a creamy pirão (it hardens when cool, beware) Serve with white rice
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?