when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
stews seem to be a repetitive feature in the menu for most of this week’s home cooked dinners so far, and today i prepared another one..
last Monday it was a Korean stew.. Wednesday, a fusion Asian.. and today, we’re going BRAZILIAN~
i came across this recipe while browsing through a cooking website recommended by my friend Kay.. it’s been months since i last made it and i was craving for it this morning..
the original recipe can be found here .. moqueca is a Brazilian fish stew that contains coconut milk as its base, with sour notes from lime or lemon juice, and sweetness from cubed vegetables and seafood.. i love the fact that it’s sourish in taste, unlike most other cream based stews.. it makes the broth not too overwhelming and hubs and i were practically slurping it up by the spoonful before we realized it.. it was that yummmmm~
however, a fair warning to anybody out there who happens to hate.. or dislike, to put it mildly, the wonderfully aromatic cilantro, you might want to steer clear of the recipe below.. though it’s a huge loss on your part if you do, i believe.. you CAN’T omit cilantro from the ingredients, nor can you substitute it with anything else.. trust me, it WON’T work.. cilantro is part of the crucial, magic ingredient that’s a MUST in this moqueca recipe.. it makes the dish into what and how it should be.. oh, and don’t mistake parsley for cilantro now.. although they’re both from the same family, parsley is really bland in aroma and flavor..
besides cilantro, lime or lemon juice is also a major ingredient in making moqueca.. the amount needed really depends on how sour you want the broth to taste in the end.. the sourness helps cut the rich creaminess from the coconut milk..
the first few times i made moqueca, i used just fish, and i sauteed the cilantro with the other veg before putting the fish in.. this time around, i added clams, to add more flavor to the broth.. as for the cilantro, instead of sauteeing it, i added it in together with the fish.. and i find that i like the overall taste of the stew better when i did that.. the flavor from the cilantro is stronger and more prominent, making the broth even more fresh tasting.. if you prefer a milder cilantro taste, saute it with the veg instead..