You’ll want to use a firm white fish. I used pollock for this batch, which was firm enough. I also added shrimp to this stew.
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of fillets of firm white fish such as halibut, swordfish, pollock or cod, rinsed in cold water, pin bones removed, cut into large portions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
- 1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped
- 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped
- 2 cups chopped (or sliced) tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp paprika (Hungarian sweet)
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cups boiling water (check your rice package for the appropriate ratio of liquid to rice for the type of rice you are using)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Yield: Serves 4.
1 Place fish pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled while preparing the rest of the soup.
2 Start on the rice: Bring water to a boil. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the raw white rice and stir to coat completely with the oil, onions, and garlic. Add the boiling water. (The amount depends on your brand of rice, check the package. If no amounts are given, add 2 cups of water for every cup of rice.) Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes or until tender and remove from heat until ready to serve with the soup.
3 Back to the soup: In a large pot (or a Dutch oven), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add half of the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Add the bell pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. (At least a teaspoon of salt.) Cook for a few minutes longer, until the bell pepper begins to soften. Stir in the half the chopped tomatoes and onion greens. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir in half the chopped cilantro. Spread the vegetables over the bottom of the pan to create a bed for the fish.
4 Arrange the fish pieces on the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5 Then add the other half of the vegetables (onions, tomatoes, cilantro) covering the fish.
6 Pour coconut milk over the fish and vegetables. Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes (I added shrimp after about 10 minutes).
7 Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt, lime or lemon juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes to get the soup to the desired seasoning for your taste.
8 Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and/or with crusty bread.
Note: I saw Fatima (Fafa) Gomes, the chef at MUQUECA in Cambridge, MA prepare this dish on local tv. The restaurant link: http://www.muquecarestaurant.com/about-us