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Brazilian-Style “Moqueca” Fish Packets with Coconut Milk and Tomatoes

This quick cooking version of a classic Brazilian fish stew with coconut milk happens entirely in a parchment packet. This moqueca recipe is super easy and healthy, and perfect to make with a variety of different fish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless hake fillets or other firm white-fleshed fish like haddock, striped bass, cod, scrod, pollack, snapper, or mahi mahi, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • One 5.4 ounce can coconut cream 160ml, I use this one
  • 2 large shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes from 2 medium vine or 1 pint cherry
  • 1 small orange bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro stems and leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves optional, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the fish with the garlic, lime juice, coconut cream, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and paprika. Marinate the fish while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  3. Place four 15×12 inch sheets of parchment paper (roughly the length of a standard rimmed baking sheet / half sheet pan) on a work surface. Fold each sheet in half lengthwise, then reopen the paper. (I like this brand)
  4. Place a few pieces of fish on one side of each of the sheets (you can make them one by one if you’re tight on space). Scatter the shallots, tomatoes, and peppers around the fish, being careful not to cover it, leaving at least an inch of space around the edges of the packet. (The veggies will need contact with the surface area of the baking sheet in order to cook properly, so scatter as evenly as possible). Season the veggies lightly with salt.
  5. Ladle the remaining coconut cream mixture over the veggies and garnish with a generous tablespoon of cilantro.
  6. Fold the parchment over the fish and fold the edges from one side to the other, making sure the lines are clean so that no air escapes. The end result will look like a tightly sealed empanada origami. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the packets are puffed and a toothpick inserted through the top slides easily into the fish. Allow to cool for a minute before opening, then serve immediately directly in the packets or spooned over rice or quinoa, with additional cilantro, basil leaves and lime wedges for garnish.

Recipe Notes

Don’t let the fish marinate for more than 15 minutes otherwise it will turn into a ceviche!