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Have you ever wanted to try something new and exotic for dinner? Well, here is your chance!

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Today I’m sharing my favorite Nigerian fish stew recipe. It’s sure to bring something different and delicious to your dinner table.

Nigerian fish stew recipe

Making it from scratch can seem like an intimidating task — until now. Even the busiest person feels like a master chef!

What Is Nigerian Fish Stew?

Nigerian fish stew (obe eja tutu) is a fragrant and flavorful stew made with fresh fish, plum tomatoes, peppers, and seasoning. It is very popular in Nigeria and can be eaten with other foods.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy: It’s an easy and delicious way to bring the flavor of West Africa to your dinner table with everyday ingredients you have in your kitchen.
  • Bragging Rights: It’s a great way to impress your family and friends with something different and exciting.
  • Super Tasty: It’s sure to tantalize your taste buds in the best way possible!
  • Great Health Benefits – The Nigerian fish stew is a true definition of perfection. It is not only flavorful; it also has amazing health and nutritional benefits as it is full of protein and veggies.

What Does Nigerian Fish Stew Taste Like?

Nigerian fish stew has a wonderfully rich and savory flavor. The combination of tomatoes, peppers, spices, and fresh fish creates an amazing depth of flavor that will please even the pickiest palate.

west african fish stew recipe

Is Nigerian Fish Stew Healthy?

Nigerian Fish Stew is a very healthy dish! It’s packed with protein and nutrients from the fish and vegetables, as well as fiber from the tomatoes and peppers.

Additionally, the stew is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids from the fish, which can help to keep cholesterol levels balanced.

What Are The Benefits of Nigerian Fish Stew?

  1. It is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that reduce stress and inflammation in the body.
  2. The pepper mix contains carotenoids that protect the eye and boosts the immune system.
  3. The Tilapia fish contains iodine, an important mineral for producing thyroid hormones and beyond.
  4. Tilapia fish contains calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorous, nutrients that help keep the bones healthy.
  5. Tilapia fish also contains fatty acid that is great for the brain.

Nigerian Fish Stew Ingredients

  • Pepper Mixture – Every West African stew recipe uses pepper mix as a base. It consists of red bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, and scotch bonnet or habanero pepper. The pepper mix adds beauty, flavor, and sweetness to the fish stew.
  • Onion Onion in the fish stew will help boost the stew’s flavor. It usually has a characteristic pungent flavor but a sweet taste when used in the stew.
  • Tilapia Fish – Tilapia fish is perfect for the African fish stew. It is relatively easy to work with and can be gotten at an affordable price at most supermarkets.
  • Cooking Oil – Cooking Oil is very high in calories and a good energy source. It also provides beneficial fatty acids that the body needs to function.
  • SaltSeason with salt. It adds taste to the fish stew alongside the seasoning.
  • Seasoning – Seasoning helps amp up the flavor of the Nigerian fish stew. Stock cubes or Bouillon powder can be used.
nigerian fish stew ingredients

Tools Needed To Prepare Nigerian Fish Stew

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Nigerian Fish Stew

Tilapia Fish

Croaker fish, cod fish, catfish, or any white fish are great substitutes for tilapia fish. The process is the same, but some fish have more bones than others.

Shrimp or white fish fillets can also be used in place of the tilapia fish in this recipe.

Non-fish lovers can swap the fish with chicken or beef to make a chicken stew or beef stew. It’s almost the same process, but the taste is different.

Fresh Tomatoes

The fresh tomatoes used in the pepper mix can be substituted for canned tomato puree (the watery type) or tomato paste. When using thick tomato paste, dilute it in little water before use.

Cooking Oil

Vegetable oil can be replaced with palm oil, olive oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil.

Seasoning

In place of stock cubes or bouillon powder, fish stock can be used.

How to Make Nigerian Fish Stew (Step-by-Step)

Ingredients

Instructions

STEP 1: Season the cleaned tilapia fish with salt, some black pepper, and seasoning powder.

STEP 2: Fry on medium heat until browned on both sides (5-7 minutes).

Step 2 - how to make nigerian fish stew
Step 2b - how to make nigerian fish stew

STEP 3: Use the oil from frying the fish to saute the chopped onions (3-5 minutes). Add some more oil if needed.

Step 3 - how to make nigerian fish stew

STEP 4: Add your blended tomato and pepper mixture.

Step 4 - how to make nigerian fish stew

STEP 5: Cook for 20-30 minutes on medium heat. The goal is to reduce the mixture. Stir frequently, especially if you’re not using a nonstick pot.

Step 5 - how to make nigerian fish stew

STEP 6: Add salt and seasoning powder. This is the same time you’ll add the optional ground black pepper and seasoning cubes. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Step 6 - how to make nigerian fish stew

STEP 7: Add the fried tilapia and cook for 3-5 minutes. Do not stir the pot too frequently to avoid breaking the fish.

Step 7 - how to make nigerian fish stew

STEP 8: Serve hot with your choice of side dish (like boiled rice, sweet potatoes, pasta, or swallow).

What To Serve With Nigerian Fish Stew

The Nigerian fish stew can be enjoyed with almost all Nigerian staple foods like rice (white rice is a perfect match for the African fish stew), beans, plantain, Irish potato, and yam.

Okra Soup – This fish stew makes a superb addition to plain okra soup and can be eaten with any swallow of choice.

Ewedu Soup – The beauty of ewedu is in eating it with Nigerian fish stew, gbegiri, and amala. The taste will leave you longing for more.

Swallow – This recipe goes well with any swallow (fufu, pounded yam, amala, eba, and semo, among others) and plain soup of choice.

Cauliflower Rice – African fish stew goes perfectly with cauliflower rice.

Boiled yam, Plantain, or Sweet Potatoes – This stew can be served with any of these sides boiled or fried. My child loves this combo with sweet potatoes.

Easy Nigerian Ewedu Soup
how to cook nigerian okro soup

Tips About Making African Fish Stew

  • If you want to, you can boil the clean fish with seasoning and add the fish broth to the stew for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Some people, like my mom, prefer the taste of boiled fish to fried fish. If this is your preference, add the boiled fish 3 minutes before you remove the pot from the heat. Avoid stirring the pot.
  • If you used too much water to blend your tomatoes, you could strain the excess water using a fine mesh sieve. This will help reduce cooking time.
  • Tilapia fish chunks may be boiled before it is added to the stew to make the fish firmer.
  • Before adding tilapia, salt and seasoning may be adjusted to your desired taste.
  • Add the fish pieces at the end of the cooking to prevent them from breaking when simmering, as tilapia is very delicate.
  • Try to avoid a lot of stirring once the fish has been added.

How To Store Nigerian Fish Stew

Nigerian fish stew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or Freezer.

Fridge: This fish stew can keep for up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Freezer: Nigerian fish stew can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheat: When ready to use, it can be left to thaw in the fridge overnight and reheated the following morning.

nigerian fish stew recipe

FAQ About Nigerian Fish Stew

What is another name for fish stew?

Fish stew can also be called cioppino, matelote, or bouillabaisse (Source).

How long will fish stew keep?

Fish stew can be kept in the fridge for five days and freezer for up to 3 months.

What is the most popular fish in Africa?

According to FAO of the United Nations, Tilapia is the most popular fish in Africa. It was also nicknamed “democratic fish” because it is consumed as an affordable source of protein in poor rural communities and a premium product for the affluent in urban centers.

Where did fish stew originate?

Fish stew originated from the early English settlers of North Carolina’s Coastal Plain. It was often prepared and served on weekends, holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions in the fall and winter.

Can I reheat fish stew?

Yes, frozen fish stew that has been thawed in the fridge overnight or leftover fish stew can be reheated gently in a saucepan, occasionally stirring, until hot.

Why do Africans use a lot of dried fish and meats?

Dried fish and meats are a common ingredient in African cooking due to their convenience, long shelf life, and flavorful taste. Dried fish and meats are also budget-friendly and nutrient-dense, making them an ideal choice for families who need to stretch their food supply.

Nigerian fish stew recipe

Nigerian Fish Stew

Yield: 1 pot
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Nigerian fish stew (obe eja tutu) is a fragrant and flavorful stew made with fresh fish, plum tomatoes, peppers, and seasoning. Have you ever wanted to try something new and exotic for dinner? Well, here is your chance!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs tilapia (cleaned)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 bell pepper
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1-2 habanero pepper (optional)
  • 1-2 tbs seasoning powder
  • 2 stock cubes (optional)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (ground, optional)
  • 1 tsp Curry powder (optional)
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Season the cleaned tilapia fish with salt, some black pepper, and seasoning powder.
  2. Fry on medium heat until browned on both sides (5-7 minutes).
  3. Use the oil from frying the fish to saute the chopped onions (3-5 minutes). Add some more oil if needed.
  4. Add your blended tomato and pepper mixture.
  5. Cook for 20-30 minutes on medium heat. The goal is to reduce the mixture. Stir frequently, especially if you’re not using a nonstick pot.
  6. Add salt and seasoning powder. This is the same time you’ll add the optional ground black pepper and seasoning cubes. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the fried tilapia and cook for 3-5 minutes. Do not stir the pot too frequently to avoid breaking the fish.
  8. Serve hot with your choice of side dish (like boiled rice, sweet potatoes, pasta, or swallow).

Notes

  • If you want to, you can boil the clean fish with seasoning and add the fish broth to the stew for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Some people, like my mom, prefer the taste of boiled fish to fried fish. If this is your preference, add the boiled fish 3 minutes before you remove the pot from the heat. Avoid stirring the pot.
  • If you used too much water to blend your tomatoes, you could strain the excess water using a fine mesh sieve. This will help reduce cooking time.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 27g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

The Nigerian fish stew is a superb light meal that can be eaten at any time of day. It is very adaptable and can be customized according to personal preference. Make it, enjoy it and share how it went in the comments.

Making Nigerian fish stew is an easy and satisfying way to enjoy a classic West African dish.

This flavorful stew is filled with fresh seafood, herbs, and spices that will make your taste buds dance.

nigerian fresh fish soup

With its delicious mix of seafood, spices, and tomatoes, this classic dish packs a flavorful punch that can be enjoyed on any occasion.

Drop a comment below to let me know if you end up trying this recipe.

I hope you loved this easy Nigerian fish stew recipe. Here are more Nigerian food suggestions for you:

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