This Brazilian seafood soup recipe is a great way to spice up fish. It's a simple stew with a base of tomato, onion, garlic and capsicum, with the addition of coconut milk showing its African influence.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (18 votes)


  • 1 kg firm, skinless white fish fillets (such as ling, halibut or snapper) cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green capsicum, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, halved, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 pickled malagueta peppers (see Note), finely chopped, or 1 tsp ground chilli powder
  • 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock or water
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp dendê (palm) oil (see Note)
  • coriander leaves and steamed rice (optional), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place fish in a large non-reactive shallow dish and toss well with juice of 1 lime and 1 tsp salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion for 3 minutes or until softened. Add capsicums, garlic and malagueta peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes or until capsicum has softened. Stir in fish stock, tomatoes, coconut milk and dendê oil. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until reduced by one-quarter.

Add fish and marinade and cook for a further 10 minutes or until fish is just cooked. Stir in remaining juice of 1 lime and season with salt. Scatter with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice, if desired.


Malagueta peppers are very hot chillies, available in jars from Latin food shops and selected delis.

Dendê (palm) oil is available from South American and African food shops, and delis. It is used for its distinctive flavour, bright orange colour and ability to be heated to high temperatures. Substitute vegetable oil mixed with ½ tsp ground turmeric.

As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg103.

Photography by Peter Georgakopoulos