Fried Fish Stew is an easy African fish stew recipe perfect for those days when you’re feeling less than but want something with pizzazz. Fish stew is popular around the world, from Brazil (moqueca) to Nigeria (obe eja) and Morocco with each country putting its own cultural spin on it.
For this recipe, I used tilapia fish, but back home we use all types of fish from catfish to mackerel or red snapper – whichever fish you like or see fit.
The tilapia fish I bought were precleaned and the scales were already removed, so it was super easy for me to handle.
I cut the fish into 3 pieces each but for this recipe, I only used the tail and middle part. I kept the head for a fish head soup recipe. But, you can add the head if you see want.
If you’re short on time or counting calories, you can skip frying the fish but follow the rest of the instructions as specified. The cookware I use to this varies depending on my mood for the day, in this picture, I used one of these sets. You can get it here.
How to Cook Spicy Fish Stew – African Fish Stew
- 6 whole tilapia, cut into 3
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion
- 5 red bell pepper
- 4 medium-sized tomato
- 1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 Jamaican pepper, seeds, and ribs removed (include seeds if you love heat)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 sachet bullion
- kosher salt
- Clean the fish and marinate with salt, fish seasoning, and garlic powder. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes or longer.
- Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic cloves, Jamaican pepper, and large onion into a food processor or blender. Pulse or purée until smooth.
- In a deep fryer, heat oil to about 375 and fry the fish for about 2 - 4minutes
- Pour the 1 cup of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the pureed tomatoes/pepper, curry powder, thyme, bullion and a generous pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil, cover it lightly then lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Let the sauce simmer until it cooks down to a rich consistency, about 20 minutes. At this point, the oil would rise to the top.
- Add the fried fish and simmer for about 5 minutes or longer to allow the fish to soak up some of the sauce, careful not to stir.
- Serve over rice.
If you would like to try another Nigerian fish stew recipe, check out Wild Alaska Cod Fillet in Spicy Tomato Sauce