Two to three servings

Moqueca is a classic Brazilian dish—both spicy and sweet. It is traditionally made with seafood. Anyone who has ever read our menu knows about my love of hearts of palm. It’s a shame that many people have only ever experienced them in salads. I think they are great sautéed, grilled, baked, and stewed. The texture they take on in a dish like this will really surprise you—especially swimming in the tropical flavors of lime, coconut, and hot pepper. To be as authentic as possible with this recipe, use malagueta peppers (dried) if you can find them.


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 (16-ounce) cans hearts of palm (unmarinated, drained, and roughly chopped into rounds)

½ cup vegetable stock

4 plum tomatoes, diced

1 (12-ounce) can coconut milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons Latin Spice blend

1 green pepper of your choice (green bell, jalapeno or poblano, or habanero, depending on desired spiciness)

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves (lightly packed when measuring)

lime wedges for garnish


Latin Spice:

2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon granulated onion, 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons thyme, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon ground dry chile of your choice (chipotle, ancho or cayenne)


1. Begin by heating the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or pot.

2. When the oil begins to ripple (after about 1 minute), add the onion and garlic and stir.

3. Add the hearts of palm and brown the mixture for 2 to 4 minutes.

4. Next add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil

5. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, sugar, spice, and peppers.

6. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes on medium-low heat until the tomatoes have just started to break down.

7. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

8. Squeeze the fresh lime wedges on just before eating.


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