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This catfish stew is very easy to make, a perfect fish soup for days when time is of the essence. It is ready in 30 minutes or less.
Last December I had this terrible flu that left me with no sense of taste and smell for days. To be honest with you, that really got me thinking to be more appreciative of life and for what I have got. We take so many things for granted in this life and I never believed I would be so miserable for want of smell and taste until I couldn’t use them for some few days. In an attempt to restore my taste bud and smell sense, I remember adding too much salt to fried eggs just to be able to taste something and all I managed to taste was the salt and no flavour at all. (Covering my eyes)
As I got better, I craved for catfish pepper soup but was too weak to make one. I missed Nigeria at that point, trust point and kill joints, where all catfishes come in different shapes and sizes. My catfish is not much of a point and kill but frozen. To be honest, it is not bad at all in taste but just that you have to settle for the size you see. They can be pretty small. The last time I found a Nigerian matching catfish size was when my dad first visited us about 3 years ago. I pretty much just buy what I see when I’m craving these days.
Back to my 3 step catfish stew, I changed my mind from pepper soup to normal stew but a bit watery(like gbure oloboro, imooyo, pade mi ni igunpa) so I can eat eba with the okra that Olu made earlier on in the day. It’s pretty easy to cook and you can do it in just 3 steps. I have made this stew again severally as I found it easy and quick to cook. Catfish doesn’t take long to cook. Well, I don’t cook mine for long and I like to finish it the same day.
1-2 Catfish cut into pieces (use any other kind of fresh fish)
2 medium-size red bell peppers
2-3 scotch bonnet chilli
1 medium-large onion
1 can of tomato plum
1.5-2 cooking spoons palm oil
Substitute palm oil for vegetable oil or any flavourless oil
Use ready-made Nigerian pepper mix. You will need between 3 to 4 cups for this catfish stew
How to cook catfish stew
Wash catfish with salt and lemon. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside. This stops it from being slimy
Blend tomatoes, red bell pepper, scotch bonnet and onions in the blender. (Reserve some onions to add to palm oil later)
Place a shallow cooking pot on medium-low heat, add palm oil, after about 3 minutes, add the chopped onions and fry for another 2-3 minutes
Add the blended pepper and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, add seasoning and salt and cook for another 5 minutes
Add catfish and cook for another 5 minutes. Be careful not to stir the fish stew or it would break into bits. Simply hold the pan on the 2 sides and shake gently, that helps move the fish around without breaking it into bits.
Serve warm with sides of choice
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