There is nothing like a good fish stew to show off the glorious flavour of mackerel. This simple recipe will have you licking your plate because it is precise and comes out the same every time. What makes this stew a winner is that it uses very few tomatoes, giving you that almost-bukka feeling. The touch of iru gives you a subtle fragrant hit of authenticity. Serve with rice, yam, plantain or veggies – the choice is yours. It also freezes very well so you can cook this in big batches and use it over a period of time.
2 – 3 whole mackerel, scaled, gutted and cleaned (croaker works too)
3/4 cup palm oil
20 tatase peppers (use a 80:20 mix of sweet red bell peppers:jalapenos if you are abroad)
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
1 small piece ginger
3 scotch bonnet peppers
1 stock cube
1 tsp cleaned and chopped iru /fermented locust beans (optional)
– Put the onions, tomatoes, tatase, scotch bonnet peppers, garlic and ginger in a blender. Slosh on a tiny bit of water, just enough to get it to blend, and blitz the mix until smooth.
– Now, heat the palm oil in a pot, and once it is hot, pour in your blended mixture, and allow to cook vigorously for 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
– While that’s going, get your cleaned fish and season it lightly with salt and pepper. Fry the fish in a separate pan of oil and set aside. To avoid frying and to make it healthier, grill the fish in the oven.
– Now check the stew and add your seasoning – stock cubes, salt, iru, etc.
– Once the seasoning is perfect, then you can drop in your fish and prawns. Alternatively, if you like fresh fish stew, you can skip the frying step earlier and drop the raw fish into the stew at this point to cook in it.
– Make sure the pieces of fish are evenly covered in stew, then cover the pot and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, until each piece of fish is well cooked through.
– Take off the heat and serve with rice, yam, plantain, sweet potato, whatever you so desire. Enjoy 🙂