This Vegan Brazilian Stew was inspired by a Brazilian seafood recipe called 'Moqueca'. This vegan version is thick & luscious; it uses fried plantains, tofu, hearts of palm, and diced potatoes to create a gorgeous and uniquely flavourful dish. Although the ingredient list may look lengthy and a little unfamiliar, this silky, tangy stew comes together fairly easily, and the result is spectacular.
For the Stew:
3 cups seaweed broth
1/3 cup dried wakame or other sea vegetable
5 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 large ripe plantain, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch slices
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or cornstarch for gluten-free version)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped, about ½ cup
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into ¼-inch pieces, about 1 cup
2 large garlic cloves, minced, about 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Kelp Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped into ¼-inch pieces, about 2 cups
1 cup thickly sliced hearts of palm (I use bamboo shoots which are readily available in NZ)
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large potato, peeled, and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 (14.5-ounce) can coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
4–6 cups cooked rice for serving, optional
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large garlic clove, minced, about 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup manioc meal or breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
1/4 tsp Kelp salt
For the Stew:
In a bowl, re-hydrate the wakame in the broth for about 5 minutes, sea vegetables, add extra taste, texture, and nutrition.
Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, lay plantain slices in a single layer in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Plantains should be fork-tender when done. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside the pan.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook for about 2 minutes, while stirring, until it darkens slightly. Add onions, peppers, garlic, paprika, salt, coriander, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cover and cook until onions and peppers have softened slightly, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, hearts of palm, tofu, potatoes, vegetable broth, and coconut milk. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until all the vegetables have softened and potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Stir in lime juice and plantains.
For the garnish (Farofa)
Use the pan from the plantains. Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, manioc meal or breadcrumbs, and salt. Cook, while stirring, for about 5 minutes until light golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to burn as it goes from golden to dark brown quickly. Empty into a small bowl and serve with the moqueca, as a garnish.
Serve in bowls garnished with farofa and cilantro.