Zambian Fish Stew Recipe - A Taste of Freshness and Tradition

Dish recipes: Zambian fish stew

Zambian fish stew is a culinary delight that captures the essence of Zambia's vibrant flavors and abundant freshwater resources. This hearty and aromatic stew combines succulent fish, aromatic spices, and wholesome vegetables to create a dish that is both comforting and nutritious. In this article, we will share an authentic Zambian fish stew recipe that will take you on a culinary journey to the heart of Zambia's traditional cuisine.


500 grams fresh fish fillets (such as tilapia or bream), cut into chunks

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 bell pepper, diced

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1 cup okra, trimmed and halved

2 cups fish or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Step 1: Sauté the onions and garlic

Heat the cooking oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until they become soft and translucent.

Step 2: Add the tomatoes and spices

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook for a few minutes until they start to break down. Stir in the tomato paste, ground paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to coat the onions and tomatoes with the spices.

Step 3: Add the vegetables and broth

Add the diced bell pepper, sliced carrot, and halved okra to the pot. Stir them into the onion and tomato mixture. Pour in the fish or vegetable broth, ensuring that the vegetables are covered. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the stew simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the vegetables to soften.

Step 4: Add the fish and cook gently

Gently add the fish chunks to the pot, making sure they are submerged in the stew. Be careful not to stir too vigorously to avoid breaking the fish apart. Simmer the stew for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Step 5: Adjust the seasoning and serve

Taste the Zambian fish stew and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or spices according to your preference. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro for added freshness and visual appeal.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy

Transfer the Zambian fish stew to serving bowls or plates. This flavorful and nourishing dish can be enjoyed on its own or paired with Nshima (maize meal), rice, or crusty bread for a satisfying and well-rounded meal.

Optional: Serving Suggestions

Accompany the Zambian fish stew with a side of steamed vegetables or a crisp salad for added freshness and nutrients. Squeeze a dash of lemon or lime juice over the stew before serving for a burst of citrus flavor.

With this authentic Zambian fish stew recipe, you can bring the flavors of Zambia's freshwater delicacies to your table. This hearty stew, filled with tender fish, aromatic spices, and wholesome vegetables, reflects the freshness and tradition of Zambian cuisine. Immerse yourself in the culinary wonders of Zambia by preparing this delicious fish stew and savoring the harmonious blend of flavors that make it a beloved dish in Zambian households.