Fish Stew – tasty white fish stew oozing with rich tomato sauce and earthy flavors. A light meal that is quick and easy to whip and can be customized easily according to preference.
Cooking with tomato sauce is a time-honored West African practice. Tomato sauce is used to enrich stews, to thicken soups and mainly because it is economical; especially when you have too many mouths to feed. The only downside to me, when incorporating tomatoes is that it is a lengthy process as opposed to other American-based tomato sauces.
Acidity in fish sauce is often shunned in most West African Countries, so to reduce the acidity in stews, you would have to cook it for a lengthy period. I find that the addition of the earthy flavors of curry, white pepper and smoked paprika somehow shortens the process.
Fish stew is a superb, and fairly light meal that is always comforting anytime of the year. It is very adaptable because you can vary the spices in the sauce depending on taste and availability.
My secret spice here is Thai Basil – you really need to give a try, available in Asian Markets and farmers markets. What’s so special about it? It’s slightly spicy, aromatic and pungent than the regular basil. On it’s own, it has a more anise and licorice-like scent to it.
When paired with this fish stew it adds a certain layer flavor and exoticness to it. It truly does.
And I just love it!!!!!
Okay, forget about the basil, 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 altogether.
Be sure to pick out the freshest white fish available such as red snapper, tilapia, pompano or even mackerel.
Due to the fact that fish is very delicate it should be added at the very end of the cooking because it might not remain intact when simmering the tomato sauce.
Serve it with the rice, whole wheat couscous or what ever rocks your boat. You can’t go wrong with it.
- ¼ cup(60ml) canola oil. (adjust with more or less)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) minced ginger.
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/2 -1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 8 ounce (227grams) tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 3-4 cups chicken broth or water
- 1-2 teaspoon bouillon powder optional
- 3 pounds(1.4kg) white fish cut up in steaks
- 1 medium bell pepper sliced
- 7 -8 Thai basil Leaves (sub with any variety)
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- salt to taste
- Wash the fish carefully, drain, and pat dry with paper towels or a clean towel.
- Heat the oil in the medium saucepan; add the onion , sauté for about a minute.
- Then add minced garlic, ginger, thyme, paprika and curry powder .Sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Pour tomato sauce, white pepper and bouillon powder. Stir for about a minute and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add about 3 cups of water season with salt according to preference and stir .
- Add fish steaks, bell pepper and basil; one at a time. Simmer until the fish is flaky and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Adjust thickness of soup with water , salt and more spices. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm
- Serve over whole wheat couscous or white rice
This recipe was first published in May 2013. It’s been updated with fresh new pictures and content .