Brazilian Moqueca from Beco

February 16, 2010 9:20:15 AM PST
Temperatures are in the high 80s in Brazil's capital this time of year. It is the middle of summer there, so let's warm things here in the latest edition of Neighborhood Eats. Eyewitness News visited a Brazilian restaurant in Brooklyn. Beco is located at 45 Richardson Street in Williamsburg.

And those who frequent Beco praise the food there. It popped up in Williamsburg less than a year ago, a block from McCarren Park. The park is home to frequent soccer games, and Beco is the kind of place you'd head to after a game.

"This is like a neighborhood place in Sao Paolo," bartender Rodrigo Franco said. "Good drinks, good prices, good portions."

Franco grew up on the border of Paraguay and Brazil, and Beco is his slice of home. And it attracts quite a few South Americans.

"The food is amazing," an Argentinian customer said. "I've always been in love with Brazil."

And the food ranges from breakfast sandwiches to more traditional Brazilian fare, like sausage finished with cachaca and salpicao, which is a chicken salad. There's also something called Moqueca.

To make it, Justyna Stachowicz sautes onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, coconut milk, shrimp, cilantro and the key ingredient, dende oil, which comes from a kind of palm.

"It's very nutty very strong flavor," Stachowicz said. "Too much in the Moqueca...will be too strong."

The Moqueca is served along with rice and collard greens, also popular in Brazil. There's an extensive list of South American cocktails for after that soccer victory.

Recipe for Moqueca (serves 2):


  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 spanish onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 Tablespoon of ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 10 cleaned, de-tailed shrimp


  • Saute sweet onions, peppers and tomato for 5 minutes.

  • Add garlic and ginger and cook for next 5 minutes.

  • Pour coconut milk over the vegetables and cook on slow heat until soft.

  • Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are done, around 5 minutes.

  • Add chopped cilantro.

  • Serve with rice.