Red Palm Oil - Delicious! Moqueca De Camarao Recipe - Real Food Real Fitness Blog at - 78703

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Red Palm Oil - delicious! Moqueca de camarao recipe 
Feb. 24, 2009 5:49 pm 
Updated: Nov. 17, 2011 12:24 pm

Some time in August the year before, my South American friend gave me a little Tupp of some kind of Brazilian seafood stew, moqueca de camarao. I could smell something good wafting out the Tupp. Yeah...that was a good moment. Anyway, I opened the Tupp, got a full-on blast of coconutty, cilantro-scented fragrance edged with a scent that I seriously couldn't quite put my finger on. A quick eye-over the stew showed me some of the good stuff in there - perky little shrimp, juicy bits of tomato, garlic and onion, bright green cilantro etc - but there were these alien streaks of orangey-red grease floating ominously between the shrimp and garlic.  What on earth was that?!?!

Turns out that that orange grease was red palm oil. I tell you, it had this unique flavor and fragrance that kicked that stew up several goodly notches!

I did a little research on  azeite de dende (that's Brazilian Portuguese for palm oil), and learnt that used in extensively in certain Brazilian and African cuisines. It’s also actually the second most consumed oil in the world after soy oil (Wikipedia is educational!), although not consumed in my part of the world (). That is actually kind of ironic, South as produces palm oil!  

I learnt too, that real, red palm oil is very good for you. (The bleached, refined, deodorized hydrogenated palm oil – the trans fat-containing kind that you find in many processed foods is the kind that’s bad for you and should be avoided.)

Here's a brief of some of its benefits (you can read Jonny Bowden's 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth and other health webbies etc for more info) It’s is stuffed with carotenes (precursors to Vitamin A) and antioxidant tocotrienols (Vitamin E). The reddish orange hue of azeite de dende comes from the high concentration of these two substances.  With regard to tocotrienols, they’re found most abundantly in palm oil. Also, palm oil is one of the richest natural plant sources of carotenoids. It has 15 times more carotenoids than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes! Isn't that awesome?!

Anyway, I cobbled together a moqueca de camarao recipe by looking up various recipes on the Internet and talking to my South American friend. It's mouth-watering, rich, deep and solidly comforting, like your grandma's hug. (If your nearest South American or American market doesn't stock it, or if you want to go for the organic, virgin version which has the most health benefits, and swansonsvitamins carry organic, virgin red palm oil).

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

¼ pound whole large shrimp in shell,

¼ teaspoon black pepper
1½ teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 (14 to15 ounces) can diced tomatoes including juice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
5 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon of dried parsley.
1 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk,
2 ½ tablespoon red palm oil


1. Peel and devein shrimp, saving the shells and heads. Toss shrimp with black pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, garlic, and lemon juice and marinate, covered and chilled for at least 60 minutes

2. Purée tomatoes with juice in a blender or food processor until smooth.

3. Place shrimp shells and heads into the coconut milk, bring to a boil then simmer gently for around 30 minutes. When ready, pour the coconut milk through a strainer to get rid of the shells and heads. This gives the coconut milk a nice seafood flavor.You could use fish stock powder, I guess, if you buy shrimp that's already peeled.
3. Cook onion in olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomato purée and simmer briskly, stirring, until mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil, then add shrimp mixture (don't drain it) and cook, stirring, until shrimp are just cooked through.
4. Stir in dendê oil and remaining 4 tablespoons cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Feb. 25, 2009 7:04 am
That sounds so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe. What do you serve it with?
Feb. 25, 2009 7:22 am
Sounds yummy! I'll have to see if I can find red palm oil. Wish me luck!
Feb. 25, 2009 4:33 pm
Hi, foodelicious. It's supposed to be served with rice. There's a great Brazilian rice recipe on AR. I've had it with Brazilian rice and feijoa (beans), and farofa (toasted cassava meal) on top. DELEESH! Hi ChrisB. Hope you can find it too! I'm running out of red palm oil myself, the Brazilian store in Japan doesn't seem to stock it anymore and ordering some from overseas is way out of my budget right now =(. I think Tropical Traditions website is having bargain prices on lot of stuff recently. They carry a lot of other great foods too, like bison!
Feb. 25, 2009 5:15 pm
hi Weightloss Chef, Thanks for this recipe! I'm gonna try it this weekend, sounds great!
Sep. 16, 2009 6:58 pm
Hi, you can find certified organic red palm oil at for $19.95 per quart.
Nov. 17, 2011 12:24 pm
This is my favorite dish in the world! I'm so happy that you have the recipe!!! :D
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About Me
I"m absolutely passionate about food - Got stove flames for the light in my eyes and cooking grease for blood in my veins y(^-^)y My cell phone ring tone is that of the oven timer going off. (Alright, I'm just kidding about the cellphone ring tone.) Interestingly, when I was a little kid, I was the pickiest, fussiest eater ever. Drove my mom up the wall, I did, and they used to get reprimanded by the pediatrician as I wasn't gaining weight correctly. So all you moms with fussy, picky eaters out there - there's still hope. Gosh, I still remember the dull trauma of being forced to clean my plate though... The next thing that I"m passionate about is lifting weights. I've got a pretty nice little weights set up in my apartment that I'm practically religious about. I've got just as many sites on weights, fitness, nutrition as recipe sites bookmarked on my computer. Thank God for this, or with my mania for food, I'd probably be bigger than the Pillsbury Dough Boy!
My favorite things to cook
Curries! Hot, strong, spicy stuff with an attitude factor that's off the charts. My next favorite thing to cook is just "new stuff". I love trying out new recipes, especially if they're from cuisines exotic to me e.g: Brazil, Argentina, Poland, etc.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family's mostly Chinese so most of my favorite family cooking traditions center around the Chinese New Year - a full day of feasting and snacking with lotsa of love shared around. Highlights of the food offerings for me include the thick but tender noodles fried so they're just ever so slightly chewy on the outside dressed with tonnes of abalone gravy and sliced sticky brown rice cakes called niangao - no brilliant flavor but it's subtly, gently sweet in an absolutely charming manner - sandwiched between thinner slices of fresh tapioca root, dipped in egg and flour than deep-fried. mouth is watering right now. Another fav tradition is birthday noodle soup. For breakfast while I was growing up, birthday breakfast meant chicken soup (just chicken, ginger and shitake mushrooms) with rice vermicelli which represents a long life =) Sometimes my mom would add a hardboiled egg to the soup. Heart AND belly-warming!
My cooking triumphs
Christmas 2008. I, with zero assistance besides my food processor, made a full turkey dinner with multiple desserts (cookies, cakes etc) etc for about 12 people, in my TINY Japanese kitchen. That was my maiden attempt at a hardcore, fullblown feast. I started work the week before and didn't have time to sleep the night before. By the time my happy, stuffed guests left, I was an absolute zombie. It was awesome! The one low note was that the multi-tasking while being both captain and crew of everything going on in the kitchen led me to neglecting the brown-sugar bacon rolled weenies (recipe from got burnt black, rotfl.
My cooking tragedies
Once I left a stew in the crockpot. Then left the apartment. For three days. Nuff' said. Just let me thank God there was no tragic fire.
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