Friday, May 17, 2013

Ghana Food: Tilapia light soup

It is somehow embarrassing that I am over one year here in Ghana and I have not yet given one local recipe, not even a hint. This has simply to change and I want to start today with a lovely recipe for Tilapia.

Tilapia is widely eaten here in Ghana, there are Tilapia farms, but most of it is caught wild, and one an taste the difference, it is just nicer, fresher, firmer.
The fish is then often marinated and grilled, but as well used in stews or soups. It is dried as well and then used as a condiment in certain stews which gives it this typical local flavor

Just something general about the food here in Ghana, it is spicy, very spicy for most of us, but it is tasty at the same time. The flavors are very different from what I have tasted so far, even in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Here smoked fish is often used in cooking, or dried or both together, so there is often a fishy and smokey flavor to it. Now the funny part is that when we have guests from Nigeria, they think that he food here is not spicy enough, so for the Nigerian guests we need to add extra flavor.....that is when I do not taste the food anymore as I simply can't handle that much spice.
We are selling a lot of Tilapia here, about 130 kg per week (290 lb) so we have to buy large. Rose our Tilapia supplier brings them fresh from lake Volta, they are absolutely amazing and really fresh. She takes a taxi for the 2 hour ride (her sons taxi) and brings the fish in big cooler boxes with ice. Usually we close receiving at 3 PM for our suppliers, but because she gets the fish fresh and brings it all the way here, she is welcome at any time and yes sometimes it is around 10 PM, a very long day for her, as she got the fish that morning fresh from the fishermen. Usually I am the one receiving the fish from the elderly lady, of course always a bit complaining about the size of the fish....Ahhhh, too small Rose, I want them big!!!!.......Noooooo, Chef, this is biiiig, very biiiiiig and smell, so fresh, still alive!!!!!!  There are no complaints about her fish, it is big and fresh, but we like to tease a bit. There is no way that I would buy Tilapia from anyone else.

Now usually the fish is eaten here with either Banku or Kenkey, even so rice is eaten widely, every food has its partner

2 kg (4 lb) Tilapia
150 g (5 oz) Fresh tomatoes
130 g (4 oz) Tomato puree
60 g (2 oz) Pepper
80 g (3 oz) Onions
1 cloveGarlic
60 g (2 oz) Ginger

Wash,and clean tilapia.
Cut the fish in thick slices
Sesaon and keep for 5 mins
Combine water with all ingredients except fish
Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
Add the fish Simmer till Tilapia is cooked
Season to taste Pepper (chili) is also called Kpakpashitor and is very hot

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