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Nov 15, 2019

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe)

This Portuguese Fish Stew is a light yet comforting meal. Called Caldeirada de Peixe in Portugal, it's easy to make, and the recipe is very flexible.

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe)

Caldeirada de peixe is typically made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, stock or water, white wine, and a mixture of whitefish and shellfish. Like Brazilian moqueca, it includes a mixture of white fish and shellfish, but it's less spicy and there is no coconut milk.

This fish stew is simple and delicious, and only takes about 30 minutes to make. Serve it with slices of sourdough bread or baguettes and butter, and a bottle of vinho verde for a meal that just might transport you to Portugal.

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe) recipe with shrimp

How to make Portuguese fish stew:

First, you sauté a mixture of onions, leeks, fennel, and garlic in olive oil until tender and aromatic. 

Next, you add stock, tomatoes, red peppers, dry white wine, salt, and pepper. You also add some orange zest and red pepper flakes. Simmer the stew base for 20 minutes so that the flavors meld. 

Finally, add the whitefish and shellfish and cook for just a few minutes more, until the fish has cooked through. Be sure to watch the fish closely and turn off the heat the minute the fish is just cooked through. 

Caldeirada de Peixe

Portuguese Fish Stew Recipe Variations:

For the stock, I used shrimp stock from boiling shrimp shells I had saved in the freezer. If you'd like to make your own shrimp stock, there are instruction in this recipe for shrimp cocktail

Whenever you make a shrimp recipe that calls for raw shrimp, be sure to buy shrimp with their shells on. Peel and devein the shrimp yourself and save the shells in the freezer for making shrimp stock. You won't regret it. The stock is freaking amazing. 

If you don't want to make your own fish or shrimp stock, you can just use water, vegetable or chicken stock, or a 50/50 mixture of water and clam juice. In my opinion, the shrimp stock is the best thing ever. 

For the fish, I used cod, but any whitefish will work. For the shellfish, you can also add some clams or mussels in their shells. Just cook the soup until the shells just open.

Fish Fridays:

This month, the Fish Friday Foodies are making soups and stews from around the world, hosted by Culinary Adventures by Camilla. Be sure to check out everyone's soups and stews! 

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe)

This fish stew, with cod and shrimp, along with orange zest and and hot red pepper flakes and onions, leeks, and fennel, is a delicious light but comforting lunch or dinner. 

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe) recipe

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe)

Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe)
Yield: 8 servings
prep time: 5 minutes cook time: 25 minutes total time: 30 minutes
This Portuguese Fish Stew is a light yet comforting meal. Called Caldeirada de Peixe in Portugal, it's easy to make, and the recipe is very flexible.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks, sliced and well washed, and then chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, stems and ends cut off, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 quart fish stock, vegetable stock, water, or a mixture of water and clam juice. 
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds whitefish, such as cod, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined 


How to cook Portuguese Fish Stew (Caldeirada de Peixe)

  1. Heat the olive oil in an 8 quart stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks, and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the fennel and garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the fish and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  3. Add the whitefish and shrimp and cook until the shrimp begins to turn opaque, and then turn off the heat. 
  4. Serve immediately. 
shrimp, cod, soup, stew
seafood, soup, stew
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Would you like to comment?

  1. This soup has many of the same ingredients and flavors as mine without being pureed. Sounds delicious.

    1. It really is. I have some leftovers... I may try pureeing them!

  2. This is on my to do list! Looks super yum!!


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