West African Fish Stew is on the menu today guys. This hearty one-pot West African fish stew practically cooks itself! It’s made all in one-pot with tender chunks of fish. Enjoy it with warm steam rice for an ultimate cold-weather meal!
This is definitely one of our all-time favorite stew (along with Beef stew)! The thick sauce just warms you up from inside out. All you need is some warm rice and you’re set!
What Exactly Is West African Fish Stew?
This is Fish Stew made in African style where the chunks of fish are simmered in a rich seasoned tomato sauce until tender.
Hearty West African Fish Stew Recipe
A recipe like this African Fish Stew is a must-have recipe that is not only healthy and flavorful but also full of protein and veggies. It is a true definition of stew perfection.
Although this African Fish Stew has to simmer for good 30 minutes altogether, I promise it will be worth it.
Ingredients For West African Fish Stew Recipe
The ingredients list for this stew is short and sweet. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Tilapia (cleaned and chopped)
- Cooking oil
- Bell Peppers
- Habanero Peppers
- Garlic and Ginger OR Garlic-Ginger Paste
- Seasoning powder
- Curry powder
- Paprika powder
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Bay leaf
- Fresh coriander – if you’re not a fan of coriander, try parsley.
A full list of the measurements is in the recipe box below.
How To Make West African Fish Stew
FIRST: Season the chopped fish with salt and set aside.
SECOND: In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and deep fry the fish till golden brown; about 10 minutes. Drain from oil and set aside. (The fish can be equally deep fried in a deep fryer) (Fry in batches if making a larger quantity).
THIRD: Over medium high heat, heat cooking oil and fry onions till lightly browned; about 3 minutes. To that, add garlic and sauté another minute or so till fragrant.
FOURTH: Add chopped tomatoes, paprika/bell pepper, and habanero pepper in a blender and blend till smooth or to your preferred texture. Add the pureé and spices to the onions and simmer till cooked; about 10 minutes.
FIFTH: Add fried fish, water and bay leaf. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
SIXTH: Stir in coriander or parsley leaves and discard bay leaf before serving.
How To Serve West African Fish Stew
My choice of accompaniment for this West African Fish Stew is definitely steamed white rice.
Growing up, my mom always paired fish stew with traditional sides like Ugali and Sauteed kale. Rice wasn’t an obvious accompaniment for African Fish Stew. For reasons best know to her, she tried it one day, and we all got hooked. Since then, it became a regular and I carried it over to my own kitchen where I honestly prepare it on a regular basis.
West African Fish Stew Is Healthy for You
Fish is not only filled with omega-3 fatty acids but also vitamins such as D and B2. It is also rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
How Long Will Fish Stew Keep?
Properly stored, cooked West African fish stew will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. To further extend the shelf life of cooked, freeze it; freeze in a covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
The best way to store raw fish
Before refrigerating fish, clean out the inside, rinse well under cold running water and dry it with a clean cloth or paper towels.
Then wrap the clean fish in waxed paper, plastic wrap or aluminium foil, and store it for up to two days in the fridge or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
What is the Best Fish for Fish Stew?
A stew like this one works best with a firm white fish, such as Tilapia or Mackerel. You could also use red snapper. Just stay away from delicate fish such as tuna for this recipe.
FIRST: I do clean the fish myself from scratch. In case you are not familiar with how to do that, ask your fishmonger to clean it for you.
SECOND: You must not fry the fish at the beginning for this recipe to work, but I find that frying the fish at the beginning gives this fish stew a very special flavor.
THIRD: Green it up if you prefer. To add vegetables like carrots; celery, bell peppers and peas, do that, the last 5 minutes before you turn off the heat.
FOURTH: Substitute coriander with parsley if that is what you prefer but avoid the parsley stem because they taste bitter unlike the coriander stems.
FIFTH: Add more or less Habanero peppers to suit your taste buds.
SIXTH: Add more or less water to achieve your prefered sauce thickeness.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Want more savory and spicy African Stews? Check these;
- West African Beef Stew
- East African Beef Stew
- West African Peanut Stew
- African Potato Stew
- Poulet DG
For other African fish recipes, check out this oven baked Tilapia fish.
WEST AFRICAN FISH STEW RECIPE
- 1 kg Tilapia Fish Cleaned and chopped
- 3 tbsp Cooking oil For cooking the stew
- 1 ltr Cooking oil For frying fish
- 4 large ripe Tomatoes OR 1 can of chopped tomatoes.
- 1 medium red Bell pepper
- 1 medium Habanero pepper OR Scotch bonnet
- 1 tsp Garlic-Ginger Paste OR minced Garlic and Ginger
- 1 large Onion
- 1 tsp Seasoning powder
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp dry Thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 300 ml Water
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves (chopped) OR Parsley
- Season the chopped fish with salt and set aside.
- In a large pot over high heat, heat oil, and deep fry the fish till golden brown; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. (The fish can be equally deep fried in a deep fryer)
- Over medium-high heat, heat cooking oil and fry onions till lightly browned; about 3 minutes.
- To that add garlic and sauté another minute or so till fragrant.
- Add chopped tomatoes, paprika/bell pepper and habanero pepper in a blender and blend till smooth or to your prefered texture. Add the pureé and spices to the onions and simmer till cooked; about 10 minutes.
- Add fried fish, water and bay leaf. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
- Stir in coriander or parsley leaves and discard bay leaf before serving.
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20 thoughts on “West African Fish Stew Recipe”
Delicious. I was married to a Ghanaian and his mom made the best African food. I always wanted to make this fish stew and eat it with fried plantain and rice. I made it and it was a hit at my dinner table.
I am glad you loved it and appreciate your feedback.
My Ghanaian uncle used to make this stew for us all the time when we were kids and this recipe is spot on!! I used salmon instead of tilapia and added some tomato paste and sautéed kale to sneak a veggie in— absolutely delicious!
Hi Imani and thanks for your feedback. I am glad the alternative worked for you.
Nice one there
I made this tasty dish tonight! It’s delicious! Thanks for sharing a taste of West Africa!
Thanks for your feedback Ney. Much appreciated.
The flavors in this stew are so amazing! Can’t wait to give it a try in the very near future!
Fish stew is a family staple and this recipe is spot on!
This fish is so full of flavor. I never fried fish before stewing what a nice technique.
This sounds and looks amazing!!
I love this recipe! I love your idea to add more veggies to it as well!! Thanks for all the step by step, too – really easy to follow!
So flavorful!! This dish helped me try something different with my fish. It came out so delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
This sounds and looks soooo flavorful!
Thanks for sharing 🙂
I don’t eat tilapia, but I’m totally going to make this with red snapper. It’s one of my favorite fish.
Definitely trying this! It looks amazing! My good friend is from Nigeria and I always try to get her to make stew for me. Maybe now I won’t have to bother her as much!
Looks so delicious. Will try it one of these days
It is just so perfect with home made rice.