Recipes from Cameroon: Fried Fish in Peanut Sauce

Recipes from Cameroon

Fried Fish in Peanut Sauce

Country: Cameroon
Course: Main
Makes: 4-6 servings


  • 1 to 2 tbsp palm oil
  • 1 whole fish*, washed, patted dry, and cut into serving size pieces (save the head)
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked or dried shrimp or prawns (or fish), ground into a powder**
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked or dried shrimp or prawns, whole**
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 to 3 chile peppers, cleaned
  • 1 cup unsweetened peanut butter

* Ingredient Note: the original recipe calls for daurade, porgy or sea bream. Suitable substitutes are sole, snapper or sea bass. I used snapper.

** I find dried shrimp to be unpleasant, so I used dried bonito flakes instead of ground dried shrimp, and fresh salad shrimp instead of dried whole shrimp.


  1. Heat the palm oil on a skillet and fry the fish with half the garlic, turning once. When the fish is cooked through, remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
  2. Mix the coriander with the ginger, nutmeg, salt, pepper and fish flakes (or ground dried shrimp if using).
  3. Now bring four cups of water to a boil. Add the fish head and the spice/dried fish mixture. Note: I used fish stock instead of water, because I didn't have the head.
  4. In another skillet, heat the peanut oil and fry the onion with the remaining garlic. When the onion is brown, reduce the heat and add the chili pepper. Now add the fish.
  5. Remove the fish head from the broth and add the peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add the sauce to the fish and onions and garnish with the remaining dried shrimp, if using (I just used fresh salad shrimp). Cook until heated through.
  7. Serve over boiled white rice with sese plantains.