When learning how to cook Nigerian food, it’s important to keep in mind the local cuisine available. Local Nigerian food consists of seafood, fruit, beans and brown rice. Seafood is one of their major sources of protein and it is widely used in learning how to cook Nigerian food. One popular dish that is preferred by the Nigerians is seafood stew.
- 2 lbs. of thinly sliced fish fillets
- ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
- ¾ cup tomato paste
- 1 chopped medium onion
- 4 cups of water
- ¼ cup of peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- Pinch of thyme
- Pinch of salt
- Nigerians season their fish with salt and thyme and let the flavors marinade while preparing the rest of the stew. Place the thinly sliced fish in a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt and thyme. Let it marinade for at least ten to fifteen minutes to let the flavors meld.
- Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the peppers, tomato paste, onion and water to the pot and cook over medium heat for ten minutes. This allows the onions and peppers to cook down in the tomato paste.
- Add the oil and chicken bouillon cube to the pot and let simmer over low heat for an additional fifteen minutes. This helps all the flavors really come together and heat through.
- Add the seasoned fish fillets and continue to simmer for another ten minutes. When finished, transfer to a serving dish. This dish is traditionally served with rice and it serves eight to ten people.
- This is a basic Nigerian stew that can be made with chicken instead of fish. Most Nigerians do not measure their ingredients, which makes learning how to cook Nigerian food a little more difficult. Nigerian cooks go on taste and experience, and they monitor their food while cooking so measuring is of little importance to them.
- Another traditional stew that is quick and easy to make when learning how to cook Nigerian food is efo. This is a green stew that is made with collard greens or spinach, tomato paste, tomato puree, onion and vegetable oil. The greens are torn, cooked down and the rest of the ingredients are added and cooked until tender. This soup is typically eaten for lunch or an evening meal and it’s served along side fufu, which is fermented cassava dough.
- When learning how to cook Nigerian food, using only the freshest ingredients will yield the best results. While some ingredients can be found in grocery stores, others can be located in African food shops. Seafood is popular in Nigerian cooking and when fresh ingredients aren't available, smoke dried fish can be used.