Brazilian Fish Stew

Over Memorial Day weekend, I attempted to grill a whole fish.  For the first time. Did I go with something little and manageable like a  red snapper?  Or orange roughy? Or even tilapia?  No, I decided it would be best to start with a two-pound grouper.  That thing barely fit onto our grill.  While the end result looked beautiful, the fish didn’t quite cook all the way through, and I had to finish it in the oven.

Joey had the brilliant idea of making fish stock out of the head and bones.  So we now had a ton of stock and a good amount of fish to use up.  I remembered this fish stew that I had made many years ago, and that I could use both leftover items for the dish.  I also loved that basically the soup was fish and vegetables, with very little fat.  Joey loved the flavors, and threatened to eat all the rest.

adapted from Cooking Light, September 2001

Brazilian Fish Stew

Brazilian Fish Stew


⅓ c fresh lime juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ½ lbs white fish, cut into chunks
Soup base
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 large tomatoes, chopped
½ c chopped cilantro, divided
2 c fish stock or bottled clam juice
14.5 oz can of chicken stock
½ c light coconut milk
Few dashes of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Combine the first six ingredients on a bowl (lime juice through fish). Refrigerate for 20 minutes. If using already cooked fish, marinate just the shrimp.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, both bell peppers, and garlic. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally. Add bay leaf and tomatoes, cooking another two minutes. Add cilantro, fish stock, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, and blend until almost smooth (mixture should still be a little chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Add coconut milk and cayenne pepper. Turn heat back up to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Add fish/shrimp mixture to the soup, and cook until fish and shrimp are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove soup from heat and serve. Garnish with remaining cilantro.

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Sweet Comments:

  1. This looks amazing! My dad used to make Vietnamese fish soup when I was growing up and I love fish in soup!

  2. This is a perfectly made soup! And the pics are so beautiful!

  3. Woah! That is pretty intense–I’ve never grilled a whole fish; however, I have made fish stock. Must try this stew soon!

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