Fish Stew

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This fish stew is flavorful and appetizing. It is made with tilapia fish and cooked in a spicy, fragrant combination of tomatoes and peppers. It is truly incredibly delicious!

This easy stew is versatile and can be served with boiled white rice or paired with vegetable soups like efo riro to accompany Nigerian swallow. Let me show you how to make it in steps.

Easy Nigerian Fish Stew Recipe

This is another popular type of stew that you can find in every Nigerian home it is similar to this Nigerian beef stew and they use similar ingredients too.

Every West African stew recipe starts with a common pepper mix which consists of red bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, and scotch bonnet chilli. Some even take it further and add other types of pepper to their mix. This pepper mix is typically cooked in palm, vegetable or groundnut oil until fried.

Some also prefer it more fluidly like the consistency you get with Buka stew.  Fish stew is a superb and fairly light meal that always comforts any time of the year. The tomato base and fantastic seasonings make it especially comforting on a chilly day. It is very adaptable because you can vary the spices in the sauce depending on taste and availability.

Is Fish Stew Healthy?

If you have been trying to eat a bit healthier, then this fish stew fits perfectly into your dietary needs. It is quick and easy to make, and you can even omit the cooking oil.

How To Make Nigerian/African Fish Stew

Prep the fish: De-scale fish and cut into steak, add to a bowl and rinse with water and lemon juice. Then transfer the fish to a colander to drain excess moisture.

Marinate the fish: add garlic granules, onion powder, ginger powder, parsley and 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder to the fish and mix to combine. Cover it with a cling film and marinate for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, grill the fish for a total of 20 minutes, 10 minutes on each side.

While waiting for the fish to finish grilling or frying, blend the peppers and bring to boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Cook the stew: place a pan on medium heat, add vegetable oil and heat until hot. Add chopped onions and stir fry until translucent. Then carefully add the boiled pepper to the oil and bring to boil for about 10 minutes.

Season the stew with salt and bouillon powder to taste, stir to combine and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until you can see the oil floating on top of the stew.

Add the grilled fish to the stew and carefully mix to combine. Shred fresh basil or scent leaves to the stew and cover the pan with its lid. Continue to cook on low heat for another 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and serve immediately.

Which Fish Is Best For Fish Stew?

Be sure to pick out the freshest white fish available such as cod, red snapper, tilapia, or pompano.

The other types of fish you may use or that are popularly used in African fish stew includes croaker fish, Hake fish, Mackerel know as Titus fish in Nigeria.

Can I Add Vegetables To Fish Stew?

Of course, you can! That makes it even healthier. I would add them to the stew at the same time you put in the tomato sauce. Then add the fish right before they’re tender, so they finish at the same time as the fish.

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken Stew – This recipe is just as good with chicken. The only difference is you can add the chicken much sooner because it takes longer to cook.
  • Fish Swap – You can add shrimp and any firm-fleshed fish to this recipe. Even the flakier fish will do fine if that’s what you have.

Serving and Storage

Serve – Fish stew is best hot right off the stove. Serve it in a bowl and sprinkle it with chopped parsley for elegance.

Store – The leftover stew should be cooled and stored in an airtight container. It will stay good in the fridge for up to four days or the freezer for two months.

Reheat – Thaw frozen fish stew in the fridge overnight, then gently heat it in a saucepan, occasionally stirring, until it starts to bubble.

How To Serve Nigerian Fish Stew

You can serve this stew with plain okra soup, with coconut fried rice or rice and beans.

If you make this fish stew recipe. Please leave a comment for me below.

Fish Stew

Fish Stew

This fish stew is flavorful and appetizing. It is made with tilapia fish and cooked in a spicy, fragrant combination of tomatoes and peppers. It truly is incredibly delicious!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Beninese, Ghanaian


  • 2 whole tilapia fish
  • 10 tomatoes large
  • 2 onion big onions
  • 2 garlic ground
  • 3 tbsp ginger freshly ground
  • 3 tbsp crayfish powder
  • 1-3 west indian peppers
  • salt pepper
  • potash pea size
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup oil


  • Cut and salt the fish to taste.
  • Heat the oil and fry the fish and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, on a medium heat, add the blended tomato, onion and cook for 20 mins.
  • Add the tomato paste, oil (water to the consistency desired). Cook for 10 min.
  • Add water if needed, oil, garlic, ginger, crayfish, peppers, potash, the fried fish, cube, salt, pepper and fry for another 20 minutes. 
  • Serve your sauce with your main dish. 
  • Enjoy your meal!



  • Because fish is very delicate, you should add it at the very end of the cooking because it might not remain intact when simmering the tomato sauce.
Keyword Fish Stew, Ghanaian Fish Stew
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