Find out what the main characteristics of each recipe are and learn how to cook these Brazilian classics. And more: five versions of the recipe using different ingredients

One of the most famous discussions in Brazilian cuisine is which is the best moqueca: the baiana one (from Bahia) or the capixaba one (from Espírito Santo). It doesn’t matter the personal opinions, the fact is that both of them have regional and cultural importance and it is good to know and value the differences between them.

Let’s face it: there are not that many differences. The recipe from Bahia uses palm oil, coconut milk and peppers and the recipe from Espírito Santo uses annatto – that removes the acidity and gives colour to the preparation –, a tradition that came from the indigenous people.

Check the traditional recipes here:

Baiana Style Moqueca
Capixaba Style Moqueca

Want more moqueca?
Learn five other recipes: with shrimp, oyster, soft shell crab, egg and vegetables

(Moqueca de camarão)
 Serves 4 |  40 minutes |  Medium

  •  400 g of medium shrimps
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 2 peeled green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ teacup of olive oil
  • ¼ teacup of dendê oil
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • ½ small bunch of parsley and ½ small bunch of scallions, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Season the shrimp with the lime juice, salt, and black pepper. In a clay pot, arrange layers of onions, bell pepper, tomato, and shrimp Drizzle with a bit of each kind of oil and cook for a few minutes. Add the remaining oils and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the shrimp is done and not allowing it to overcook. Add the coriander, scallions, and parsley, adjust the seasoning, and serve with white rice.


(Moqueca de ostra)
 Serves 5 |  30 minutes |  Easy

  •  1 kg of fresh oysters
  • 2 key-limes 
  • 3 tablespoons of corn oil
  • 1 coffee spoon of urucum
  • 3 bunches of coriander, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 2 malagueta peppers, crushed
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Clean the oysters thoroughly with water and plenty of key-lime. Squeeze the oysters with your hands under running water – when you notice they are very clean, put them in baking dish and add a bit of salt to them. Set aside for 20 minutes. Mix the urucum with the oil and pour into a clay pot; heat it up and braise de coriander, tomato, onion, garlic, crushed peppers, lime juice, and olive oil. Wash the oysters one more time, drain them, and add to the pot. Stir, out on the lid, and cook for 20 minutes. Wash the oysters again by rinsing them and throw them into the braised ingredients in the clay pot. Stir, close the lid and cook for 20 minutes.


(Moqueca de siri mole)
 Serves 4 |  40 minutes |  Medium

  • ⅔ teacup of dendê oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 large, ripe and firm tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 2 malagueta peppers
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 12 large soft-shell crabs
  • 1 coconut milk bottle
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Grease a clay pot with one tablespoon of dendê oil and arrange layers of onions, tomatoes, and coriander. Crush the pepper with the lime juice and add to the pot. Drizzle it with the remaining dendê oil. Boil the crabs until red and place then under running water, rubbing thoroughly. Add to the pot. Mix the coconut milk with salt, pour over the crabs, wait until it boils and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat.


(Moqueca de ovo)
 Serves 5 |  30 minutes |  Medium

  •  1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ teacup of dendê oil
  • ½ dedo-de-moça pepper, deseeded
  • 1 peeled and deseeded tomato, chopped
  • 1 dessert spoon of coriander
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 dessert spoon of chopped green onions
  • Salt to taste

Braise the onion and garlic in dendê oil, until soft. Add the pepper, tomato, coriander, and lime juice. Add 2½ teacups of water, season with salt and cook over low heat, until the tomato begins to fall apart. Add the whole eggs, close the lid and boil – the eggs should be cooked, but their yolks still soft. Sprinkle the green onions and serve immediately.

Vegetable moqueca with nuts pirão and coriander farofa
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