Smoked Tofu & Plantain Moqueca (Coconut Brazilian stew)

Moqueca (pronounced “mo-KEH-kah”) is a Brazilian stew typical from the northern state of Bahia. Brazilians have been making moqueca for at least 300 years.

I ate quite a few Moquecas when I went to Brazil last year and I couldn’t wait to cook my vegan version on my return to London.

It’s exotic and super simple to make.

Moqueca in Bahia is usually accompanied by rice and farofa – which is simply fried/toasted manioc flour. I highly recommend you serve the Moqueca with farofa as it adds a special crunchy and unusual touch to the whole experience.

In London I buy manioc flour and palm oil at a Brazilian/Portuguese supermarket but you can also find it at some other speciality shops like health stores. I only buy Brazilian Palm Oil (which lasts forever by the way) as the Asian brands have bad reputation for being unethical – harming our orangutan friends who live in the area.

If you absolutely can’t find Brazilian palm oil you can use olive oil but the flavour won’t be as authentic (says the girl who veganised this recipe).

I love Viana Real Smoked Tofu – if you can’t find smoked tofu, replace it with normal tofu or mushrooms.

Smoked Tofu & Plantain Moqueca (Coconut Brazilian stew)

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot


  • 1 juice Lemon
  • 1 Large Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (sliced)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (sliced)
  • 2 Tomatos
  • 200ml Coconut Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Palm Oil (Brazilian and/or ethical brand)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Stock (powder)
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander or Parsley (chopped)
  • 175g Smoked Tofu
  • 1 Plantain (sliced)


  • 1 Red chilli (finely chopped)


  • 1 cup Manioc Flour
  • 1 clove Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt flakes
  • Olive Oil


Step 1
We start off by adding most of the ingredients on a medium saucepan (don't switch on the heating just yet):

- layer 1/2 of the palm oil
- layer 1/2 of the onions
- layer 1/2 of the peppers
- layer 1/2 of the tomatoes
- layer 1/2 of the smoked tofu
- layer 1/2 of the lemon juice

Repeat the above once more. Then pour the coconut milk over it all followed by the vegetable stock powder. Cover and simmer on a medium/low heat for 20 mins.
Step 2
In the meantime add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan. Heat it thoroughly, until it's hot enough to sizzle when you add a bit of plantain. Lay the plantain pieces (in a single layer) in the hot oil and fry them until they're tender and deep golden, which takes about 7 minutes. Flip the plantain pieces halfway through the frying process. When they're done transfer them to paper towel-lined plates to drain.
Step 3
Using the same pan, add another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil followed by the garlic, manioc flour and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 to 4 minutes until the flour is golden and crunchy. If it starts turning brown it means it's burning, you don't want that. Once it's cooked transfer the Farofa to a bowl.
Final Step
Step 4
Stir half the coriander (or parsley) into the Moqueca and sprinkle the rest over the top. Also add the chopped chilli if you like a bit of spice. Serve with the plantains, farofa and rice. Enjoy!


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  1. Katie (The Muffin Myth)

    · · Reply

    Wow, this looks like quite the amazing stew! I love so many of the things going on here: smoked tofu, plaintain, coconut. Yum! My husband is in Brazil on business right now, so I should totally send him a shopping list so we can make this when he gets home. Thanks for such an inspirational recipe.

  2. Babette

    · · Reply

    I made this last week and it was so good! I added seaweed to get a fishy taste, but I didn’t put enough of it to impact the taste. I ate it several days in a row and it was always a feast. Thank you!

  3. Jess

    · · Reply

    Que deliciosa! I have made this moqueca quite a few times since I found the recipe and it never fails. I don’t live in London but found a bottle of molho de dendê (or red palm oil) when I was in Liverpool for the authentic taste. I think the layering is very important to the original recipe so I’m very happy yours has it. Thank you!

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