CATFISH!! Ahh my favorite kind of fish ❤ This stew is definitely one of my favorite meals to prepare. I enjoy this with white Basmati or Jasmine rice on a nice Sunday morning. If you are Nigerian, you know rice is a must on Sundays and it is not every time you eat fried rice or Jollof, sometimes switch it up and have rice and stew. For the non- Nigerians, this is a tomato based stew prepared the Nigerian way with catfish. It is light because it is not heavily seasoned as the other kinds of stew (chicken, turkey, beef etc) . This stew is prepared without curry, thyme or nutmeg, and this is what I love about this besides the fish😀 It is simple, light and just simply deeeelicious. You do not have to be African or Nigerian to try this recipe, be bold and increase your food palate.
2 Catfish (cleaned and cut into 3 pieces per fish)
1 Can of Whole Tomatoes
4 Red Bell Peppers/ Red Sheppard Pepper
1 Large Red Onion
2-3 Garlic Cloves
3-4 Scotch Bonnet Pepper ( 2 for less heat)
½ cup of Vegetable oil/ Palm oil
3- 4 Seasoning Cubes
Step 1 To clean catfish, place in a bowl and wash with cold water twice. Add boiled hot water and add to catfish and salt. Allow to sit for about 3-5 minutes, this will remove the slimy skin from the fish. Rinse again with cold water and set aside.
Step 2 Place catfish in a pot, add 2 cups of water, finely diced onion, salt and 1 seasoning cube. Cover and allow to steam on medium low heat for 6-10 minutes. Catfish is very delicate, do not overcook because it will also cook in the sauce. Remove fish from stock and reserve stock for stew. Add salt according to preference.
Step 3 To make stew, blend into a puree all ingredients except vegetable oil, seasoning cubes and salt. Blend half of the onion and chop the other half and set aside. Place in a pot and cook until all the liquid evaporates. Set pepper mixture aside.
Step 4 In a saucepan, add cooking oil on medium heat, add chopped onion when hot and saute until soft. Add your pepper mixture and saute for 10-15 minutes or until your oil starts separating from the pepper mixture. Stir occasionally so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Step 5 Add your fish stock, 2 seasoning cubes and salt. Stir, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt or seasoning cubes before adding your fish. Reduce heat to medium low, gently add fish to the stew, cover and let simmer for 5-8 minutes. At this point do not stir with your spoon because catfish gets very soft and it can break easily. Hold your pot with both handles and shake, tilt from side to side, this is the safest way to stir the sauce without breaking (my mum taught me this 😀). Uncover pot and allow to simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes. Now everyone knows that Nigerian stew is ready when the oil settles on the top.Turn off heat and allow to cool before serving.
Step 6 Your stew is ready!! Stew is mostly enjoyed with rice but you can serve with any carb of your choice.