Brazil ‘N Bowl.
If you read my World Cup post, then you know I fell in love with Brazil as a young footballer. But if you didn’t snag a read, I’ll give you a brief recap.
Age 12. 2007 Women’s World Cup. Marta. Soccer’s heroine. Yellow and blue love.
Well, that pretty much sums everything up folks. So my Brazilian passion started with soccer, but when my best friend ended up falling in love with the country too, it soon expanded to food. She introduced me to this amazing fish stew, Moqueca, just a few weeks ago and I was honestly hooked at first bite.
Let me tell you this Brazilian staple is a staple for a reason. This soup is full of flavor with a coconut milk based broth, tender salmon bits, and the most colorful array of vegetables. Your first spoonful will be sure to send you on a one-way trip to Rio.
4‒6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2‒2 pounds salmon, cut into large-bite sized pieces
dendê oil (olive oil works too)
2 medium onions, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 cup green onions, chopped
14 oz can coconut milk
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (1‒2 cups)
2 cups rice
half an onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
I think this soup is enjoyable to make because such simple ingredients yield such complex flavor. The only ingredient that may not be found at your general grocery store, is the dende oil. It’s a great oil extracted from palm trees that gives the soup the nice rich red color. If you live in Austin you can find it at Fiesta, but any store with a large international section should carry it.
Begin by marinating the salmon. In a bowl cover the salmon with all of the marinade ingredients, coating the fish evenly. Let the fish marinade for at least 20 mins.
Next heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Once hot, add the onions and cook until soft.
Then add the garlic.
Now you are going to begin to layer each of the remaining vegetables.
Beginning with the peppers
Then the tomatoes.
Then the green onions.
Then the cilantro.
*This recipe is very forgiving, so don’t worry if you switch up the order in which the vegetables are layered a little.
Once all the vegetables have been added. Layer the marinaded salmon, along with any extra marinade on top of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
Next cover the mixture with the coconut milk.
Allow the soup to come to a boil, then lower the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables and fish are completely cooked.
Finished the soup off by gently breaking the salmon into bite size pieces.
While the soup is simmering make the rice. I recommend using a rice cooker, but stove top rice will work too. For the rice cooker method, add the rice, water, a tablespoon of oil, the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt into the cooker. Press cook and you are done. If made on the stove top, first boil the water, and then add the ingredients listed above, cooking until tender.
Once the rice and soup are done cooking, its time to serve.
Simply place a cup of rice into a bowl, generously cover it with a ladle-full of soup, and garnish it with fresh cilantro.
With a soup that’s this flavorful, colorful, and delightful it can be enjoyed at anytime of the year. So grab a pot and whip yourself up a bite of Brazilian culture.
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