Discover the vibrant flavors of Cape Verdean cuisine with this traditional recipe for Peixe Seco, a beloved dish that captures the essence of the islands' culinary heritage. Peixe Seco, which translates to "dried fish" in Portuguese, is a flavorful and hearty dish that reflects the influence of both African and Portuguese cooking styles on Cape Verdean food culture.

In this recipe, we'll guide you through the process of preparing Peixe Seco using simple yet authentic ingredients, allowing you to recreate the taste of Cape Verde in your own kitchen. With its blend of aromatic spices, tender fish, and savory accompaniments, Peixe Seco is sure to transport you to the sun-drenched shores of this enchanting archipelago. So, let's embark on a culinary journey to Cape Verde and savor the flavors of Peixe Seco together.


  • 500g dried fish (such as cod, haddock, or pollock)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water, for soaking


1- Begin by soaking the dried fish in water overnight or for at least 8 hours to rehydrate and soften it. Change the water a few times during soaking to remove excess saltiness.

2- After soaking, drain the fish and remove any bones or skin. Flake the fish into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

3- In a large pot or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

4- Add the diced tomatoes and bell pepper to the pot, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

5- Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, ground cumin, and ground coriander, and cook for an additional 2 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

6- Add the flaked dried fish to the pot, stirring gently to combine it with the vegetables and spices.

7- Pour enough water into the pot to cover the fish and vegetables, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

8- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the Peixe Seco simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.

9- Season the Peixe Seco with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed.

10- Serve the Cape Verdean Peixe Seco hot, accompanied by steamed rice, boiled yams, or crusty bread for a delicious and satisfying meal. Enjoy the rich and flavorful taste of this traditional Cape Verdean dish!

Nutritional Values:

Here's an approximate nutritional breakdown for the ingredients listed in the Cape Verdean Peixe Seco recipe:

Dried Fish (500g):

  • Calories: Approximately 600 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 125g
  • Fat: Approximately 5g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 0g
  • Sodium: Varies depending on the type and preparation of the dried fish


  • Excellent source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health and reduce inflammation.
  • Contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium, important for bone health.

Onions (2 onions, finely chopped):

  • Calories: Approximately 100 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 2g
  • Fat: Approximately 0g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 24g
  • Fiber: Approximately 4g


  • High in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, which help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Contains prebiotic fibers that support gut health and digestion.
  • May have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Garlic (3 cloves, minced):

  • Calories: Approximately 12 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 0.5g
  • Fat: Approximately 0g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 3g
  • Fiber: Approximately 0.2g


  • Known for its immune-boosting properties due to its high content of sulfur compounds like allicin.
  • May help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Contains antioxidants that protect against oxidative damage and aging.

Tomatoes (2 tomatoes, diced):

  • Calories: Approximately 50 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 2g
  • Fat: Approximately 0g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 11g
  • Fiber: Approximately 3g


  • Rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports immune function and skin health.
  • Good source of lycopene, a carotenoid with anti-cancer properties, particularly prostate cancer.
  • Contains potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and muscle function.

Bell Pepper (1 bell pepper, diced):

  • Calories: Approximately 25 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 1g
  • Fat: Approximately 0g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 6g
  • Fiber: Approximately 2g


  • High in vitamin C, which supports immune function and collagen production for healthy skin.
  • Good source of vitamin A, important for vision health and immune function.
  • Contains capsaicin, which may help boost metabolism and reduce inflammation.

Tomato Paste (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: Approximately 30 kcal
  • Protein: Approximately 1g
  • Fat: Approximately 0g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 7g
  • Fiber: Approximately 2g


  • Concentrated source of lycopene, providing antioxidant benefits similar to fresh tomatoes.
  • Contains vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like potassium and iron.
  • Adds depth of flavor and richness to dishes.

Olive Oil (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: Approximately 240 kcal
  • Fat: Approximately 28g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 0g
  • Protein: Approximately 0g


  • Rich in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Contains antioxidants like vitamin E and polyphenols, which protect cells from damage.
  • Supports brain health and cognitive function.

Paprika (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: Approximately 6 kcal
  • Fat: Approximately 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 1.2g
  • Protein: Approximately 0.3g


  • Contains capsaicin, which may boost metabolism and aid in weight loss.
  • Rich in antioxidants that help fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Adds color and flavor to dishes without adding significant calories.

Ground Cumin (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: Approximately 8 kcal
  • Fat: Approximately 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 1.3g
  • Protein: Approximately 0.4g


  • May aid in digestion and alleviate digestive discomfort due to its carminative properties.
  • Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that promote overall health.
  • Adds a warm, earthy flavor to dishes.

Ground Coriander (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: Approximately 5 kcal
  • Fat: Approximately 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 1g
  • Protein: Approximately 0.2g


  • Rich in antioxidants that help protect against cellular damage and aging.
  • Contains antimicrobial properties that may help fight against foodborne pathogens.
  • Adds a citrusy, floral flavor to dishes and complements other spices well.

Nutritional values for salt, pepper, and water are negligible and not included in the breakdown. These values are approximate and may vary based on factors such as specific ingredients used and cooking methods.


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