Stews and sauces

Fried fish stew

How was your weekend? I worked on recipes on Sunday in other to be ahead. It was tough because I usually sleep the whole day on Sundays.

This is another classic stew here in Ghana. Most stews here are tomato based with any addition of meat or vegetables to your preferences. For most tomato based stew, the secret to a good stew is lots of onions. It helps balances the sharpness of tomatoes.

We start by frying the fish seasoned with a generous amount of salt but not too generous; you can use any fish of choice like cassava, mackerel or snapper fish. Then we will make the stew and add the fried fish at the end. It is easy, just take it slow the fish frying.

Fried fish stew
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Servings: 4 plus
For fish
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds fish (bone-in, not fillet)
  • salt
  • oil for deep frying
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 4 onions
  • 2 tablespoons turkey berries/ small green aurbegine optional
  • 2 clove garlic
  • Fresh pepper
  • 1- 2 tablespoon tomato paste/ puree
  • 1/2 cup/ 120ml vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon grounded shrimp optional
  • To finish: 2 onions and 3 bell pepper diced
  1. Season fish with a generous amount of salt and arrange on rack to drain off any water. Heat oil in a deep fryer. You can check the oil is hot but putting the back of the wooden spoon in the oil, if the oil bubbles around it, oil is ready for frying.

  2. Put in fish slowly one at a time to prevent oil from splashing. Fry till golden and cooked through.

  3. Blend onions, turkey berries, pepper and garlic together.

  4. Heat about half cup oil in a pan. Add the blended onions, turkey berries, pepper and garlic. Bring to a simmer for about five out minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, about 1 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and curry powder. Simmer for about fifteen to eighteen minutes. The sauce should be cooked now and not taste raw.

  6. Add grounded shrimp, fried fish, diced onions and bell pepper. Simmer for five minutes or more till the onions and bell pepper are softened and the fish absorbs the stew flavours. Taste and adjust for saltServe with any side of choice.

  1. Finely slice the onions and garlic, blend the turkey berries and pepper together. Start by frying the onions and garlic till caramelised. Add the grounded turkey berries and pepper, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste or puree. Simmer for about five minutes and add the spices. Add the fried fish, diced onions and bell pepper, taste and adjust for salt. You might need to add a splash of water if stew is very thick.

Recipe Notes

The second method cooks faster than the first. I use either of the methods whenever making fried fish stew.

Here is another tomato based stew featuring palm oil and smoked salmon

and this featuring beef

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