Fish Stew: Fried Assorted Fish Stew

Make the most out of your favorite fish with savory, rich, and hearty Fish Stew!

Fish Stew or “Obe Eja Tutu” is a rich, savory, and hearty West African and Nigerian stew recipe that will give you the best flavor and quality in one dish. Instead of using one kind of fish, you can use any combination you want.

Here, you will discover how to cook fish in pepper sauce which makes any stew recipe delicious. The blend of sweet, spicy, and pungent flavors will surely bring you warmth and comfort.

fried assorted fish stew

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You can certainly cook this dish for lunch, dinner, and celebrations to give your guests something new to try. I especially love it on a relaxing and cold day. Let’s get stewing to relish the best Fish Stew ever!

How to Make Fish Stew

There’s a special way of cooking Fish Stew to make the fish crispy even when you turn it into a stew. It’s just all about frying the fish, making the pepper sauce, and cooking the best Fish Stew you will ever taste.

Don’t worry because I will guide you every step of the way!

Ingredients

There are many versions of Fish Stew, but for the Yummieliciouz version, these are all you need to cook it:

Assorted fish

Instead of using one fish for the stew, why not use an assortment of fish?

You can use almost any fish, but I suggest making the stew with croaker, hake, tilapia, and bream. These fish options can cook well in the sauce without losing their shape or texture.

Once seasoned and fried, these will have a naturally tasty flavor from the inside out. These will surely taste delicious with the pepper sauce. You can season them with herbs and spices of your choice to take their flavor to the next level.

Health Benefits

  • According to Healthline, fish can protect your heart from different diseases.
  • You can also add fish to your diet for your brain and vision.
  • WebMD also mentioned that fish can reduce the symptoms and effects of depression.

There are many ways to enjoy fish. You can bake, fry, deep fry, air fry, grill, roast, or stew them. I’ve cooked plenty of fish recipes for my family, and these are our favorites:

Tomatoes

When it comes to African pepper sauce, you need to add tomatoes. These give the sauce a sweet and tangy flavor with a pulpy and smooth texture. Even the color of tomatoes can make a big difference.

The tomato flavor will surely go well with the peppers. Whenever I make pepper sauce, I always make sure to add in some tomatoes for an extra kick of flavor. Here are more fun ways to use tomatoes:

Sweet and bell peppers

Well, it’s not pepper sauce without sweet peppers and bell peppers!

These peppers have a sweet, fruity, and slightly citrusy flavor to add flavor to any dish. After all, you won’t be able to make pepper sauce without sweet peppers and bell peppers, can you?

Once cooked, the peppers will have a fragrant aroma that will make your dishes appetizing. If you can’t get enough of peppers, then here are other recipes you might enjoy:

assorted fish stew recipe
Scotch bonnet

Make it a real stew recipe with a burst of spice from the pepper sauce. It is a fantastic option for a spicy flavor because it is hotter than a jalapeño yet it has a touch of sweet and fruity flavors, too.

It will surely add a robust flavor to the fish and sauce. Alternatively, you can season the sauce or fish with homemade chili flakes. A little bit of spice can always make a stew recipe better.

Aromatics

Garlic and onions are some of my favorite aromatics because they also add a pungent and spicy flavor to improve sauces and dishes. These can make the fish taste so much better without losing its natural flavor.

They will have a better aroma once you cook them with the peppers and scotch bonnet. You can also use garlic powder or onion powder as substitutes.

Seasoning

There are many herbs and spices you can use, but the best ones include sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning, mace, fenugreek, and cardamom.

You can use oregano, tarragon, sage, cardamom, coriander, and garam masala as optional seasoning. I also suggest using my tried and tested fish seasoning for great flavor.

You’re surely going to love this recipe because of its natural aroma, flavor, and quality. It’s a fine dining experience in your own home with satisfying and hearty food straight from your kitchen!

Directions

I can’t wait for you to taste this Fish Stew; let’s make it now!

Fish

  1. Gut and descale the fish using a knife.
  2. Cut the fish to your preferred size.
  3. Season the fish with fenugreek, garlic powder, onion powder, cardamom, mace, all-purpose seasoning, and salt.
  4. Cover the container with cling film and marinate overnight. 
  5. In a pan, heat oil over medium-high fire until the oil simmers.
  6. Fry the fish with tongs until golden and crispy.
  7. Then, remove the fish from heat using a skimmer spoon.
  8. Once cooked, transfer the fish to a lined tray lined. 
  9. Set the oil aside for later use. 

Pepper Sauce

  1. Chop the tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, onions, garlic, onion, and scotch bonnet.
  2. Use a blender to blend the ingredients until smooth.

Fish Stew

  1. Heat the leftover oil in a saucepan over a medium-high fire.
  2. Pour in the blended sauce.
  3. Cover the pot with a splatter guard and a lid to cook the sauce until it thickens. 
  4. Season it with all-purpose seasoning, mixed herbs, salt, mace, paprika, knorr cubes, and curry powder.
  5. Mix the seasoning into the sauce and cook for another five minutes.
  6. Then, toss in the fried assorted fish.
  7. Submerge the fish into the stew to infuse it with the sauce.
  8. Cover and cook for another two minutes over low heat. 
  9. Once you’re happy with the flavor, serve the Fish Stew with a smile!
How to make fried fish stew at home

Not only are you enticed to eat healthily, but you’re also enjoying an incredible culinary experience in your home! 

Tips

Fish

Buying fish
  • In an article by Nestle, fresh fish should have clear eyes.
  • The gills should also be moist and red.
  • Check if the scales are glossy and slippery.
  • Smell the fish for a neutral aroma.
  • The flesh should also feel firm and plump.
Storing fish
  • To refrigerate, put a rack inside a large container and place the rinsed fish on the rack.
  • Do not stack or crowd the fish.
  • Scatter ice below the rack and ensure that the ice does not touch the fish.
  • Also, cover the container with cling film to use within two days. 
  • For freezing, wash the fish over running water and store them in labeled freezer bags. Cook the frozen fish within two weeks. 
Preparing fish

The Spruce Eats suggests these steps to prepare the fish for cooking:

  1. To descale, use a clean butter knife to scrape off the scales from the tail to the head.
  2. Angle your knife and apply just enough pressure not to puncture the flesh. 
  3. Next, gut the fish by cutting it in between the fins and slicing it upward. Let the knife hit the fishbone.
  4. Expose the flesh and pull out the guts and liver.
  5. Then, slice off the gills. 
  6. Cut the fish to your preferred size to season, store, or fry! 
fish stew recipe
Cooking fish
  • The oil should be hot enough to deep fry the fish without drenching it. 
  • FryMax suggests using palm oil, rapeseed oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil because of their high smoke points.
  • If you have an oil thermometer, then check if the oil is between 175°C to 180°C before lowering the fish.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan for even frying.
  • Cooking time can take up to five minutes on each side, but it depends on the thickness of the fish.

Pepper sauce

Tomatoes

Buying tomatoes

  • The tomatoes should be vibrantly colored, plump, and with glossy and smooth skin.
  • They should feel heavy for their size too.
  • The caps should be in a fresh green color. 

Storing tomatoes

  • Unripe tomatoes can be left at room temperature to last up to two weeks.
  • Ripe tomatoes are best refrigerated in resealable bags to last up to a week longer. 
Sweet and bell Peppers

Buying sweet and bell peppers

  • The peppers should be firm to the touch.
  • The skin should be shiny and bright without discoloration. 

Storing sweet and bell peppers

  • Room-temperature peppers can last up to five days but refrigerate them in plastic bags to extend their shelf life to 2 weeks. 
Scotch bonnet

Buying scotch bonnet

  • The scotch bonnet should feel heavy for its size.
  • Check the scotch bonnet for soft spots or discoloration. 

Storing scotch bonnet

  • Put the scotch bonnet in plastic bags and store it in the fridge to use within two weeks.
  • They can also be frozen to last up to several weeks.
  • If you need an in-depth guide to preserving it, then be sure to check out Scotch Bonnets Storage Hacks.

No-Blender Pepper Sauce

In place of a blender, you can use a food processor or a food mill. Moreover, you can also steam the tomatoes and peppers before finely chopping them with a knife or a mortar and pestle

You can also use a grater to grate the onions and garlic before mixing them with the purees. Filter the contents with a  sieve for better texture.

How to make fried fish stew

Fish Stew Variations

I love how every Fish Stew recipe can be different!

You may use any other fish or seafood of your choice to enhance the quality of the stew. Aside from using hake, bream, croaker, and tilapia, I also suggest using sea bass, prawns, pollock, black cod, and red snapper for more options.

For a vegetarian stew, you can use carrots, asparagus, green beans, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, vegetable broth, peas, and more. If you loved this stew recipe, then here are more stew recipes you can try out:

  • Saucepan: Cook the sauce and the stew in a saucepan.
  • Frying pan: Fry the fish in a wok.
  • Blender: Prepare the sauce in a blender.
  • Wooden spatula: Mix the ingredients with a spatula.
  • Tongs: Toss the fish in the oil with tongs. 
  • Splatter screen: Cover the saucepan with a splatter guard.
  • Glass bowl: Prepare the ingredients, herbs, and spices in glass bowls.
  • Skimmer spoon: Remove the fish from the oil with a skimmer. 
  • Knife: Slice the fish and ingredients using a knife.
  • Cling film: Marinate the fish by covering the container with cling film.
  • Tray: Place the fish on a tray after frying.

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How to Serve Fish Stew

Whenever you want to relax, just cook some Fish Stew to feel warmth, comfort, and satisfaction.

I love serving Fish Stew for lunch and dinner for a hearty meal. Its saucy, thick, and rich quality truly makes it great for dining with the family. Every time I crave fish, this is my number one choice.

It will taste even better with side dishes like the following:

Here are also some of the best swallow foods that will pair well with the stew:

This can also be served with roasted vegetables, a salad, or healthy drinks such as:

fried fish stew recipe

Storage Tips

  • At room temperature: Bike Hike suggests eating Fish Stew within two hours.

make ahead

In the fridge: Pour the fish stew into containers to refrigerate. Make sure to eat it within three days. 

To freeze: Fried fish and the stew sauce are best frozen separately. Put them in individual freezer bags with labels and use them within several weeks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is another name for fish stew?

Nigerian Fish Stew is also called “Obe Eja Tutu”. It is also cooked in other countries, and it may have also earned other names. For instance, Indonesian Fish Stew is called “Asam Pedas”.

What is seafood stew made of?

It depends on your preference. Seafood stew can be made of crab, mussels, squid, and other seafood. You can also add in seafood liquid, vegetables, and pepper sauce to cook everything.

What is the meaning of fish stew?

In Africa, Fish Stew is a dish made of fried fish and pepper sauce. The fish is seasoned and fried until golden brown outside and soft on the inside.

Meanwhile, the pepper sauce is made of tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet, and aromatics. It is cooked with the fried fish for a hearty and savory meal.

When was fish stew invented?

The first version of the fish stew was cooked as early as the 600BC. It was a popular dish among the Greeks and Phoenicians. Later on, it was developed in other countries, particularly in Africa.

How to make fried fish stew at home
fish stew recipe

Fish Stew

5 from 1 vote
This Nigerian Fish Stew is the best, most flavorful, and perfectly seasoned seafood recipe! The fried fish is just naturally tasty and beautifully textured.
Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Course Fish, Main Course
Cuisine African, Nigerian
Calories 280kcal

Ingredients
  

Fish (gutted, descaled, dressed, and cut)

  • 1 croaker
  • 1 hake
  • 2 tilapia
  • 2 bream

Fish seasoning

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • ½ tsp mace
  • ½ tsp fenugreek
  • ½ tsp cardamom

For the pepper sauce

  • 5 tomatoes (small-sized)
  • 4 sweet peppers
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 onion (medium-sized)
  • 2 scotch bonnets (adjust as required)
  • 3 garlic cloves

Fried fish stew

Optional Seasoning

  • pinch sage
  • pinch tarragon
  • pinch oregano
  • pinch coriander
  • pinch cardamom
  • pinch fenugreek
  • pinch garam masala

Instructions
 

Fish

  • Gut and descale the fish using a knife.
  • Cut the fish to your preferred size.
  • Season the fish with fenugreek, garlic powder, onion powder, cardamom, mace, all-purpose seasoning, and salt.
  • Cover the container with cling film and marinate overnight. 
  • In a pan, heat oil over medium-high fire until the oil simmers.
  • Then, fry the fish with tongs until golden and crispy.
  • Remove the fish from heat using a skimmer spoon.
  • Once cooked, transfer the fish to a lined tray lined. 
  • Set the oil aside for later use. 

Pepper sauce

  • Chop the tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, onions, garlic, onion, and scotch bonnet.
  • Use a blender to blend the ingredients until smooth.

Fish Stew

  • Heat the leftover oil in a saucepan over a medium-high fire.
  • Pour in the blended sauce.
  • Cover the pot with a splatter guard and a lid to cook the sauce until it thickens. 
  • Season it with all-purpose seasoning, mixed herbs, salt, mace, paprika, knorr cubes, and curry powder.
  • Mix the seasoning into the sauce and cook for another five minutes.
  • Then, toss in the fried assorted fish.
  • Submerge the fish into the stew to infuse it with the sauce.
  • Cover and cook for another two minutes over low heat. 
  • Once you're happy with the flavor, serve the Fish Stew with a smile!

Video

Notes

  • Always use oil with a high smoke point such as sunflower oil.
  • You can reuse the oil used in frying the fish.
  • Consume fish stew within 2 hours at room temperature. 
  • In case the stew is too oily from the fish and the sauce, you can get an ice cube and hold it over the oily parts of the stew until the oil solidifies on the ice cube.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 12)Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 47gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 739mgPotassium: 725mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3125IUVitamin C: 113mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg
Keyword best fish recipe, best fish stew, delicious fish stew recipe, easy fish stew recipe, Nigerian-style fried fish stew

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