Last weekend a friend of mine invited my husband and I over for lunch. Her husband was going to teach me how to make Moqueca! Moqueca de Camarão to be exact.
Moqueca de Camarão is a dish from Bahia in the north. It is basically a shrimp stew served over rice, often with farofa. My friends had just taken a vacation to Salvador in Bahia and were happy to show me how to make it.
This was very exciting for me for two reasons – 1) I had never had or made the dish before. 2) I found out that a fish shop here sells fresh (not frozen) shrimp. I’ve been living here 18 months and just now found that out!
We have not yet been to the north of the country, but we hear the north and south of Brazil are like two different worlds. This was my first time eating Moqueca and I loved it. It was such a nice change from the red meat overload we get here. I’m looking forward to making it myself very soon.
I have the recipe to share with you, but I have to warn you there is a secret ingredient that I have not found out how to make yet. We’ll call it a seasoning paste. I’m pretty sure it was a paste made from garlic, cilantro, parsley and cumin, but I don’t have exact measurements. I’ll let you know when I find out for sure. It was similar to sofrito, but I’m not sure it is the same thing here.
Let’s get started.
Next, the dish is made in a clay pot. I plan to try to get my hands on one before we move back to the States and pray it doesn’t break in the shipping process.
Ingredients were already chopped and ready to go when I got there. I was pretty much a witness to the whole thing, but I got good pictures. Anyway, I am estimating amounts based on what I saw.
Moqueca de Camarão
2 medium onions, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
4 cloves of garlic sliced
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp seasoning paste
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
¾ to 1 cup coconut milk
Add shrimp and cook until barely cooked through. Stir in coconut milk and simmer. Place lid on pot and continue to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve over rice.
In addition to the rice he also made farofa. Farofa is a toasted mandioca flour most often served with meats and rice and beans. Mandioca is also known as manioc, cassava and yuca. Mandioca is also used to make tapioca – just to throw in some more info for you there.
We had an awesome tapioca dessert too, but I’m going to save that for another post. Enjoy your Moqueca!