Moqueca de Camarão — 40-Minute Spicy Shrimp Soup Recipe

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Moqueca de Camarao is a delightful recipe highlighting the bold and vibrant flavors of Brazilian cuisine. The dish hails from the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil, the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture and its diverse culinary heritage.

Traditionally slow-simmered in a terra-cotta pot, this soup recipe comes together in an oven, showcasing a unique combination of spices, coconut milk, and seafood. However, my version uses only shrimp which is the perfect entry point for the uninitiated. The best part is that this recipe is ready in just 40 minutes!

Rice is also a staple in Brazilian cuisine and is served at least once a day with a meal. But here, we’re having cauliflower rice, a healthy substitute for white rice that goes just as well with this spicy shrimp soup. It’s great to have when you feel like nesting when the weather cools down.

It’s hearty and satisfying, you can enjoy it as a main course during lunch or dinner. I recommend making it ahead, preferably on a weekend or when you have more time to prepare and fully enjoy the cooking process (and the sheer deliciousness of this dish!) without feeling rushed. Try this out and serve it next time you want to dress up your menu with some holiday seafood recipes.

Shrimp soup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Moqueca de Camarao is the most delicious seafood stew I’ve ever had, so if you’re a seafood lover seeking a taste of coastal Brazil, this recipe isn’t to be missed. This velvety and spicy shrimp soup is super healthy and fits into any diet plan. If you love a bit of heat to your meals, you’re surely going to love it. Here are more reasons to try this recipe:

  • Simple ingredientsA great way to use up ingredients and spices that you already have in your pantry.
  • Short prep and cooking time: Takes 20 minutes of prep time and an additional 20 minutes to cook and bake all the ingredients.
  • Amazing flavorsSavory and zesty, with a creamy richness from coconut milk and a subtle kick from aromatic spices.
  • Basic kitchen toolsThe recipe calls for an oven, blender, strainer, knife and board for cutting, frying pan, and baking dish.
  • Easy-to-follow directionsFollow six straightforward steps involving roasting, sautéing, and blending shrimp and spices.

If you like this easy seafood dish, have a look at this 20-Minute Shrimp Scampi Recipe for another delicious dinner inspiration.

How to Make Moqueca de Camarao

Done in less than an hour, my version of Moqueca de Camarao is a lot easier to make than if you cook it the traditional way using a terra-cotta pot, which could take an hour or more. To make this spicy shrimp soup, start by roasting the vegetables and garlic in a preheated oven.

Once done, blend the veggies with coconut milk, lime juice, and seasonings while cooking minced kale and shrimp in a sauté pan. Once the shrimp are pink, pour over the sauce and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot on its own or with cauliflower rice and sliced avocado.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a printable recipe card with a full list of ingredients, measurements, and step-by-step instructions to make this savory Moqueca de Camarao recipe.

Spicy shrimp soup in a bowl.

Ingredients You Need

Moqueca de Camarao will stimulate your taste buds with a fiery heat and tropical flavor that will make you wish you’re enjoying it on some Bahian beach with your toes curled in the sand. For this recipe, I kept things simple by using ingredients that I already have in my pantry, plus seafood that you can find well-stocked in any supermarket.  

  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Large tomato
  • Hot pepper
  • Red bell pepper
  • Ground black pepper
  • Coconut oil
  • Radish
  • Kale or spinach
  • Lime juice
  • Avocado
  • Shrimp: Peeled and deveined; use fresh or frozen shrimp that are firm to the touch, with a mild briny smell.
  • Coconut milk: Best option to use for this recipe as it adds a creamy texture and rich flavor that pairs well with shrimp and spices.
  • Turmeric root powder: Enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Cauliflower rice: Substitute for rice; can be made fresh or bought frozen in your local grocery store.

Variations

As with many seafood dishes, Moqueca de Camarao comes in many variations. I found that it goes well with coconut cream, with its coconuty taste that adds more authenticity to the Brazilian dish. Feel free to get creative and experiment with more add-ins and substitutions, like the following:

  • Replace hot pepper with pimenta malagueta.
  • Add your favorite herbs like fresh cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, or oregano.
  • Without omitting red pepper, replace turmeric powder and coconut oil with dendê oil, a type of palm oil used for various Afro-Brazilian dishes for its very specific, intensely spicy flavor. Use sparingly as it can be quite potent!
  • If you can’t eat or are allergic to shrimp, replace it with an equal amount of squid, scallops, or white fish fillets such as tilapia, corvina, swai, or cod.
  • Make a vegetarian version by omitting shrimp and using a variety of additional veggies like eggplant, squash, tomatoes, or mushrooms. Add some tofu for extra protein.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Moqueca de Camarao is the perfect buffet dish for special occasions like family reunions, festive gatherings, or intimate dinners with friends. Ideal for a filling lunch or dinner, it’s the best kind of recipe that combines common ingredients to create a knock-your-socks-off meal. You can have this spicy shrimp soup on the table in just 40 minutes. Let’s get started!

  1. Prepare the shrimpWhile preheating the oven, rinse peeled and deveined shrimp and drain out the water using a strainer.
  2. Roast the vegetables and spicesIn a baking dish, melt the coconut oil while prepping the veggies. Slice garlic, deseeded peppers, tomatoes, and radishes; placing the cut sides down on melted oil. Roast until tomato skins are wrinkly and garlic is soft.
  3. Sauté the shrimp and make the sauceIn an oiled pan, stir-fry the shrimp and add in minced kale. Cook over medium heat until shrimp are pink. Once the veggies are cooked, transfer to a blender and mix with turmeric powder and all the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.
  4. Pour the sauce and serve. Pour sauce over the shrimp and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle some cilantro and serve hot with cauliflower rice and avocado slices. Optionally, add a swirl of coconut cream.

Craving for more seafood goodness? The Ketogenic Edge Cookbook has more delicious and nutritious shrimp recipes you can whip up at home.

Expert Tips

  • Taste and adjust! For seafood dishes like Moqueca de Camarao, it’s important to always taste-test while cooking. Adjust the amount of peppers and seasonings used to control the level of heat. Make it as fiery as you want by leaving the seeds in the peppers. I prefer it milder, which is why I deseeded them before roasting.
  • Don’t substitute coconut milk. Don’t substitute full-fat with a low-fat version. Coconut milk is best for this spicy shrimp soup and any other milk won’t be as creamy.
  • Choosing shrimp. Look for fresh shrimp with intact shells and a translucent appearance. Avoid any with black spots or signs of discoloration. If possible, choose wild-caught or sustainably sourced shrimp.
  • Don’t throw away shrimp shells and heads. Make the most out of your shrimp! You can make broth from the shells and heads by tossing them in a heavy pan with water and some spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, extracting as much flavor as possible. Add the stock to your Moqueca de Camarao to intensify the shrimp flavor.

Looking for an organic shelf-stable bone broth to keep in your pantry? Read my Kettle & Fire Bone Broth Review to learn why they are my top pick for ready-made bone broth!

Storage Tips

Moqueca de Camarao is best served hot, but if you have leftovers or want to prepare ahead, let it cool to room temperature and transfer into an airtight container.

You can keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. The soup can also be frozen, though it’s best to leave out the shrimp as they tend to become rubbery when frozen and reheated. The frozen soup can last for up to 2 to 3 months.

Before reheating, always check for signs of spoilage like unusual odor, molds, or sliminess. Discard if they appear off or have been stored for too long. When ready to enjoy, gently reheat on a stovetop over low heat.

Add a splash of coconut milk or regular water to thin out the sauce, and add cooked shrimp towards the end of reheating to prevent them from becoming tough.

What to Serve with Brazilian Spicy Shrimp Soup

Moqueca de Camarao can be served as a standalone dish but is best enjoyed with traditional sides like rice, lime wedges, and farofa (toasted cassava flour). It also pairs well with various dishes and accompaniments. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Traditional Brazilian beverages like Caipirinhas (cachaca-based cocktail).
  • Sweet fried plantains for a touch of sweetness.
  • Steamed brown rice topped with chopped scallions.
  • A plate of Couve à Mineira (sautéed collard greens with garlic and olive oil).
  • Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread rolls) for a delightful contrast to the spiciness of the soup.
  • Couscous, quinoa, or toasted bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.

More Delicious Soup Recipes to Try

If you make this Moqueca de Camarao recipe, please leave a review. I really appreciate each and every 5-star rating and comment!

Shrimp soup.

Spicy Shrimp Coconut Soup with Roasted Red Bell Pepper

Jessica Haggard
A spicy soup of shrimp and kale, flavored with roasted tomato, bell pepper and garlic.
4.98 from 41 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Traditional
Servings 6
Calories 315 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  • Rinse the shrimp with fresh water. Place in a strainer to drain out the water.
    1 1/2 pounds shrimp
  • Put 3 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil in a 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Melt the oil in the oven as you prep the vegetables. Slice the head of garlic in half, place cut side down in the melted oil. Cut the tops of the bell peppers and hot pepper, take out the seeds and slice each in half. Put the cut side down in the coconut oil. Halve the tomatoes and radishes, arrange in the oil with the cut side down. Place in the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes until the tomato skins are wrinkly and garlic is soft.
    4 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 head garlic, 2 large red bell pepper, 1 small hot pepper, 4 large tomato, 6 small radishes
  • Mince the kale. Add to a saute pan with the shrimp and remaining 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil. Cook for about 6-8 minutes over medium heat, until all the shrimp are pink.
    1/4 to 1/2 bunch kale
  • Once the vegetables are done in the oven, transfer to a blender and combine with turmeric powder, lime juice, and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Taste, adjust as needed.
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric root powder, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 cup coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pour the sauce over the shrimp and mix to combine. Serve with cilantro as garnish. Present on a bed of cauliflower rice and a half of an avocado or on its own as just a soup. Also delicious with a swirl of coconut cream.
    1/4 cup cilantro, Cauliflower Rice, 1 half avocado

Nutrition & Macros

Calories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 26gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 1092mgFiber: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 8g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, please calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients and amounts used, using your preferred nutrition calculator. Under no circumstances shall the this website and the author be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the given nutritional information.

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2 thoughts on “Moqueca de Camarão — 40-Minute Spicy Shrimp Soup Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope they will like it too.

    Reply

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