[Brazilian Food] – Part I Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Vocabulary

[Brazilian Food] – Part I: Alex Atala

Hey, everyone! Oi, gente!

If you follow our blog, you may have noticed that we run a couple of series, like ‘Brazilian movies’, ‘Brazilian Literature’ or ‘Music to listen to’. Hoje (today) we’ll debut a new feature, ‘Brazilian Food’, with the aim of introducing readers to renowned Brazilian chefs and their outlook on cooking. Now, there is no reason why you should sit em casa (at home) drooling over amazing pratos (dishes). So, every intro will be followed by a receita (recipe) so you can experiment and do you our Brazilian cooking!

When talking about chefs in Brazil today, the first name that might come to mind is Alex Atala. Ranking high as No. 6 on S. Pellegrino’s world’s-fifty-best-restaurants list, Atala’s revolutionary approach uses the cozinha (kitchen) as a means to transform the way we view comida (food). The São Paulo-born chef believes that valuing our local cuisine and promoting the use of authentic native ingredients brings about social change and environmental benefits.

Alex Atala

Alex Atala

Atala’s name is now closely associated with the Amazon, as his bold project involves exploring  the richness of indigineous sabores (flavours) and finding seemingly unknown and exotic ingredients with strange names, like herbs, plants, fish and, sometimes, even ants. By buying from local farmers and producers, Atala defends building a better relationship with a floresta (the forest), a região (the region) and a comunidade (the community).

Alex Atala owns a a restaurant in SP, the highly regarded D.O.M, considered one of the best restaurants do mundo (in the world) by experts. At D.O.M., his dishes made with regional elements  are executed with high stardands and flawless technique. You can aprender (learn) more about him watching Netflix’s Chef’s Table (Season 2, Episode 2), reading his recently-published livro (book) – Redescovering Brazilian Ingredients – or visiting his website, with versions both in Portuguese and English:

Alex Atala’s Moqueca de Peixe

In this recipe, the chef will ensinar vocês (teach you) how to make this typical dish from Bahia, the “moqueca de peixe”, or a fish stew.

(Note that in Brazil we use the metric system to measure the quantity of ingredients)


  • 400 gramas de badejo/ 400 grams of whiting
  • 160 gramas de tomate sem pele e sem semente/ 160 grams of peeled and seeded tomatoes
  • 40 gramas de pimentão vermelho (cortado em tiras)/ 40 grams of red pepper (cut into strips)
  • 40 gramas de pimentão amarelo (cortado em tiras)/ 40 grams of yellow pepper (cut into strips)
  • 40 gramas de pimentão verde (cortado em tiras)/ 40 grams of green pepper (cut into strips)
  • 80 gramas de cebola (cortado em tiras)/ 80 grams of onion (cut into strips)
  • 150 mililitros de caldo de peixe/ 150 milliliters of fish broth
  • 150 mililitros de leite de coco reduzido/ 150 milliliters of reduced coconut milk
  • 5 gramas de alho/ 5 grams of garlic
  • 40 mililitros de azeite de dendê/ 40 milliliters of palm oil
  • 10 gramas de coentro/ 10 grams of cilantro
  • 10 mililitros de óleo de canola/ 10 ml of canola oil
  • Sal e pimenta a gosto/ Salt and pepper to taste


  • Na panela de barro já quente, coloque o óleo de canola e refogue o alho/ In a heated clay pot, add the canola oil and saute the garlic
  • Adicione depois a cebola e os pimentões, e deixe-os até murchar um pouco/ Add the onion and peppers, and let them shrivel up a bit.
  • Coloque os tomates e o peixe/ Place tomatoes and fish
  • Em seguida, acrescente o caldo de peixe e o leite de coco e deixe cozinhar/ Then, add the fish stock and the coconut milk and let it simmer
  • No fim, adicione o azeite de dendê e o coentro/ Finally, add palm oil and coriander.
Moqueca de peixe (photo by Hermann Agnieszka)

Moqueca de peixe (photo by Hermann Agnieszka)

É isso! Ficaram todos com fome? Bom fim de semana!

That’s it! Are you all hungry now? Good weekend!

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