Shrimp Stew (Moqueca)


A delicious fish stew in a big pot, from Angola to Brazil.

Both the word “moqueca” and its delicious flavour are a heritage from the kimbundos slaves brought from Angola to Brazil by the Portuguese. The word means “fish stew in a big pot”, but as time went by the dish gathered many different versions, such as this one, using shrimp, and another African wonder: palm oil.


  • 1 tbs palm oil.
  • 1 tbs olive oil.
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed.
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped.
  • 2 tbs coriander.
  • ¼ tbs red pepper sauce.
  • 3 cups uncooked, shelled shrimp.
  • 2 cups coconut milk.

How to make

Cook onion and garlic in both oils until translucent. Add tomatoes, coriander, hot pepper sauce and shrimp. Simmer ingredients until shrimp turns pink. Pour in coconut milk. Serve with rice.

Serves 4

Brazil is the 11th producer of palm oil. Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria are the primary producers of this oil that is second only to soya in worldwide use. And if you think that all palm oil extracted from the Elaeis guineensis finds its way into hundreds of thousands of moquecas you are totally mistaken: 80 per cent of the oil is used in the production of margarine, mayonnaise, bread, artificial milk and chocolate, and even in cosmetic products – it is the “palm”, for instance, that goes into the formula and the name of Palmolive soap.