Moqueca: Eastern Brazilian Coastal Cuisine

One of the highlights of traveling is trying new foods. In Oxnard, California, we tried a whole new cuisine at Moqueca, as neither of us had eaten Brazilian food before. Specifically, Moqueca serves capixaba cuisine, the food of Brazil’s state of Espirito Santo on the coast of Brazil’s southeast region.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.

Moqueca interiorWe started with a refreshing Caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, common during Carnaval, made with lime, sugar and cachaga, a Brazillian brandy made from sugar cane.

caiprinhaFor an appetizer we ordered Capa Santa Gratinada, seasoned scallops with a parmesan crust and served in a half shell. The scallops were so delectable we finished them before we even thought about taking a picture.

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Along with our appetizer, our server brought us a basket of toasted herb bread with a savory eggplant tapenade.

tapenade, MoquecaMoqueca is named for its signature dish, a seafood stew cooked in a handmade clay pot with tomato sauce, onions, garlic, cilantro, lime, coconut milk and seasonings. The restaurant offers eight versions of moqueca with different combinations of seafood, as well as a vegetarian option made with plantains. We chose the moqueca de peixe com camarao, white fish moqueca with large shrimp. Each moqueca serves two people and is served in the pot it’s cooked in. Spoon it over the rice that accompanies the moqueca and add some of the spicy sauce to add heat, if you’d like.

moquecamoqueca over riceWe finished our meal with a creamy smooth mousse de maracuja, passion fruit mousse, the cool, fruity dessert a nice contrast to the somewhat spicy meal.

mousse de maracuja, dessert at moquecaNow that we’ve tried and enjoyed the cuisine of Espirito Santo, we’re anxious to try other Brazilian cuisines to compare.

If you go to Moqueca:

Moqueca is located on the Channel Islands Harbor at 3550 South harbor Boulevard, Suite 201, in Oxnard, California. Check the web site for hours and the full menu.

Accommodations: We stayed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach during our visit to Oxnard. Find the best hotel room deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.

Disclosures: Our dinner at Moqueca was hosted by the restaurant and the Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau. Our meal was complimentary, but any opinions in this article are our own.
This article contains an affiliate link, which means that if you book a room through the TripAdvisor link above, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

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