Peixada is a traditional Brazilian fish stew recipe, and this recipe is from a local of Ponta Negra, an urban beach in the city of Natal, on the north coast of Brazil. Here fisherman still fish in the traditional way, despite the encroaching city and tourism on the beach. Daily they rise at 3am and head out on jangadas – an old style of boat with large sails and a small crew – bringing back their catch to sell to local distributors. This recipe comes from Selma, the wife of a local fisherman who runs a seafood stall close to the beach.
- 1 kg whole tuna
- 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
- 1 green or red capsicum, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and sliced
- ½ garlic clove
- ½ bunch spring onion, chopped
- ½ bunch parsley, chopped
- 2 litres water
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 3 potatoes, boiled and quartered
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled and halved
- 2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve
- coriander sprigs, to garnish
- 1½ cups boiled white rice, to serve
Selma's special sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp white vinegar
- salt and black pepper
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.
To make Selma's special sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Combine tuna, coconut milk, capsicum, onion, half of the tomato, garlic, spring onion, parsley and the water in a large saucepan over high heat. Add 1 cup Selma's special sauce. Bing to the boil, stirring regularly. Cook for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Transfer 2 cups of broth to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add cassava flour, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. (This sauce is called pirao.)
Remove fish from saucepan and place on a serving platter. Arrange potato, egg and remaining tomato around fish. Garnish with lime and coriander. Serve with pirao and rice.
• Selma adds urucum to the dish to lend it a deep red colour. Since it doesn't change the flavour of the dish you can leave it out.