tilapia stew ready to eat

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

African fish stew in a bowl

This African stew is another well-beloved dish commonly eaten in West Africa and is also a party favorite.

If you’ve tried my Nigerian Beef Stew, this stew is similar to it and is just as easy to make. But there are some key differences that make the flavor special in its own way.

For this recipe, I like to fry the fish before using it in the stew. You can skip this step;  the stew will turn out great even if you don’t fry it.

But the fried fish makes this dish all the more special. It gives a stronger, bolder flavor which I guarantee, will have you licking your fingers!



Ingredients Used

Tilapia Fish: This recipe is made with tilapia fish but you can use catfish or any white fish and the process will be basically the same. Some fish have more bones than others so bear that in mind when selecting what fish to use.

Also, you can use fillets but I use a whole tilapia fish that has been gutted and chopped, with the flesh intact. I like to leave the flesh in because it ensures the fish will remain whole and intact and will not break apart before the stew is done.

Vegetables: tomatoes, red bell pepper, habanero pepper, and onions for making the stew.

Spices: bouillon powderthymeblack pepper, and salt.

Olive oil and stock/water.

tilapia and other ingredients to make stew

How To Make African Fish Stew

If you are using a whole tilapia fish, you will have to gut and clean it before you use it. If you’re using fillets, then skip this step.

You might be able to buy it already gutted and cleaned which should help speed things up.

Cut the fish into 5 – 6 medium pieces and deep fry till crispy.

Blend the tomatoes, red bell pepper, and habanero pepper in a blender. It’s easier to blend the tomatoes first, so it creates a liquid base before adding the peppers.

If possible, do not add water when blending or add very little. Chop the onions and set aside.

Add the olive oil to a pan on medium heat and when heated, add the chopped onions. Stir till translucent, then add the blended tomatoes and pepper.

frying tilapia to make stew

Let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat and add a little stock or just water. Mix together, then add your spices, adding the salt last.

It is always safe to add salt and spices after you add your stock because most of the time, the stock is already flavored. On several occasions, I did not even need to add any salt because the stock was enough. Bring to a boil, then add the fish. Try to avoid a lot of stirring once the fish has been added. It is helpful to taste for salt and spices to make sure it is to your liking before adding in the fish.



fried tilapia in african stew

Simmer for about 10 minutes and your African Fish Stew is ready to serve!

This serves 6 and each serving contains 4 net carbs per serving. This can be kept for up to 5 days in the fridge.

This African fish stew is perfect with cauliflower rice but you can eat it with any dish that calls for a stew.

tilapia stew ready to eat

Tips When Making African Fish Stew

  • Adjust the spices and make sure it is to your liking before adding the fish.
  • After adding the fish, only stir very gently and as little as possible, so the fish does not break apart.
  • You don’t have to fry the fish if you are in a hurry, but frying helps to keep it together and reduces the chance of breaking.

Check out these other delicious low carb stews!