the appetizer:

Brazil's culinary influences include not only Amerindian and Portuguese foods, but the cooking styles of immigrants from many other parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Each of the country's five geographic regions offer cuisines that are distinctly different yet recognizably Brazilian.

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Peixe Ensopado
(fish stew flavored with coconut)

Serves 4

Plan ahead, the fish needs to marinate 1 to 3 hours. It is typically made with badejo, a fish similar to sea bass. A good substitute is haddock.

Juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
4 fish steaks
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 green olives, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 malagueta pepper, chopped (optional)*
1/2 cup coconut milk**

Prepare a marinade of lime juice, salt and pepper. Marinate the fish for 1 to 3 hours. sauté the onion, olives and garlic in oil until onion is limp. Mix in cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Add fish and marinade. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish is done. Mix in tomato paste, malagueta pepper and coconut milk. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

*In the US, malagueta peppers are available bottled, not fresh. They are chilis and should be handled carefully because they contain oils that can irritate or burn the skin or eyes.

**Bottled or canned coconut milk can be substituted. Also see coconut milk recipe


From Eat Smart In Brazil. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Ginkgo Press.


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This page modified January 2007