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brazilian salmon stew moqueca
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5 from 4 votes

Easy 20-Minutes Salmon Stew

This Easy 20-Minute Salmon Stew is a tasty spin on an authentic moqueca recipe. Featuring tender cooked salmon, green bell peppers, and cilantro in a coconut and tomato broth, the rich and bright Brazillian-inspired flavors are completely irresistible!
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: Fish Stew, Moqueca, Salmon Stew, Seafood
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 355kcal
Author: Silvia Dunnirvine


  • 1 1/2 lb wild salmon cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 small white onion sliced
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk full fat
  • 1/2 whole green pepper round slices
  • 1 pinch sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro or parsley


  • Start by heating the oil in a cast iron skillet. Add in garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce and coconut milk and quickly stir. Let this simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile slice the bell pepper and set aside. 
  • Arrange the salmon pieces in cast iron allowing the broth to surround the salmon.
  • Top with bell peppers and season to taste. You can cover the skillet if you like but you don’t have to. Most times I don’t cover. Cook for 10 minutes then carefully turn the salmon. 
  • At this point you can add the fresh cilantro and/or parsley and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and internal temperature is 145F degrees. 
  • Serve over white rice.


  • Instead of salmon - You can make this stew recipe with cod, tilapia, shrimp, or another kind of fish that you like.
  • Add tomatoes - Add chopped tomatoes in the stew for added tang, sweetness, and texture.
  • Not sure if the salmon is cooked? A meat thermometer will be your best friend when checking if the salmon is cooked through. You’ll know the salmon is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF. For more tips on cooking salmon, see my pan seared salmon recipe.
  • Palm oil in salmon stew - The original recipe that I grew up with is made with palm oil, which is readily available throughout Brazil. Even though it provides the stew with its rich and fragrant qualities, palm oil is a very questionable product. Try to get your hands on a reputable, environmentally-friendly palm oil (this is my favorite) if you want to experience the true flavors of a Brazillian salmon stew.


Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 1139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 472IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg