Neighborhood Kitchens

Muqueca's Moqueca Capixaba

Moqueca is a traditional type of seafood stew originally from the state of Espirito Santo, on the southeast coast of Brazil. It was traditionally cooked in a clay pot. Moqueca can be made with a firm white fish, or a combination of fish, seafood, and shellfish, such as lobster, crabmeat, shrimp, mussels, or calamari. Typically, it is served with white rice and pirão, a kind of fish sauce made with yucca flour.


2 Tbs. annatto seed
1 cup olive oil
3-1/2 lb. fresh white fish, such as haddock, sea bass, roballo, or cod (reserve 8 oz. for the Pirão)
1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
Salt (to taste)
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green chives, diced
1 lb. shrimp
4 cups water
3/4 cup yucca flour


Prepare Urucum Color
Add the annatto seed and olive oil into a cooking pot. Place it over a medium-low heat. Keep smashing it until the oil incorporates the color. Turn the heat off before the oil starts to boil, then filter out the seeds and leave the liquid aside.

Prepare Moqueca
Cut the fish, place it in a dish, and add the lime juice and salt, leaving it resting for a few minutes.

In a clay pot, pour the urucum color and add half of the chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Organize the fish on top with care, so the pieces do not overlap. Cover the pot and let it cook on high heat for about 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the chives and the shrimp. Cover the pot and let it cook for 5 minutes.

Prepare Fish Pirão
Put the reserved 8 oz. of fish (shredded), about a cup of chopped tomatoes, onions and 2 tablespoons of urucum color into a clay pot over a high heat.

Let it simmer for about 3 minutes, then add 4 cups of water, a dash of salt, and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Let it boil then reduce the heat. Add 3/4 cup of yucca flour little by little, stirring constantly. Serve in a separate dish from the moqueca.

Serves: 8

NK_LogoChef Fátima “Fafa" Langa opened Muqueca in Inman Square. She shared this recipe with us when she was featured as our guest on Neighborhood Kitchens.


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Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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