Shrimp Moqueca That Won’t Kill You

Moqueca is traditionally made by Afro-Brazilians in the state of Bahia. It’s one of Brazil’s spicier dishes. The original recipe uses dendê oil, a palm oil heavy in saturated fat. But dendê is difficult to source and is a very unhealthy fat. This lighter recipe retains the flavor but leaves out all the artery damage.

Wine Recommendation: "This is a delicate dish and I would recommend Champagne to complement it," says de Morais. "But it doesn’t need to be vintage. The acidity and structure of most Champagnes will bring out the flavors of the vegetables in Moqueca. Champagne Gosset Brut Excellence would be a great choice."

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Serrano chili, seeded and sliced (use rubber gloves to avoid stinging)
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (found in the ethnic section of supermarkets)

Chop 3/4 of the onion and slice the remaining into rings. Marinate the shrimp in the chopped onions, garlic, lime juice and pinch of salt for 30 minutes.

Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the shrimp and marinade. Layer pan with tomatoes, cilantro, chilies and rings of onions. Add black pepper to taste. Pour coconut milk over the layers and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the shrimp is well-cooked (will be pink and curled.)

Serve with Brazilian rice.

Published on July 6, 2010