Catfish is very important in West Africa. It is an important food source in West and Central Africa.
Shawa is usually smoke-dried. It is smoked-dried for 2 to 5 days, depending of the size of the fish. Fist of all, smoke-drying is done over wood fire. Therefore, fish is placed on wood sticks, then a fire is lit. Most of all, the fish is first cooked over a high fire. Finally, the fire is reduced to a smouldering fire rather than high one. Smoking “ovens” can be rather open with or without walls. Also with walls in either side. In the outside air or inside a smoke house. Also, a hard-smoked shawa can be kept for several months in ambient conditions.
Smoked Catfish Pepper Soup
- First of all get 6 Medium Smoked Dry Catfish (soaked in lukewarm water to re-hydrate)
- 11/2 teaspoon of ground Uziza Seeds
- 11/2 tsp of ground Oliome Seeds
- 2 pcs Ehuru (slightly roasted on a burner then peeled, ground and sieved)
- 3 Cloves Garlic (Grated Smooth)
- 1 small Ginger (About 15 grams, peeled and grated smooth)
- 3 teaspoons Salt
- 3 Stock Cubes
- 3 tablespoons Ground Dry Crayfish
- ½ to 1 teaspoon of ground Dry Pepper
- Sliced Uziza or Scent Leaves and Yellow Pepper (Scotch Bonnet) to Garnish
- First of all, place about 2 litres of water in a large sauce pan. Add all the ingredients except the dry catfish, uziza leaves and also yellow pepper in the saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium. Then allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Finally,carefully remove the smoked dry catfish from water. Transfer fish into another saucepan. Cover and simmer for an addition 5-7 mins. Taste rather frequently to adjust seasoning.
- Finally, garnish with sliced uziza or scent leaves and also yellow pepper. Furthermore, serve hot and on its or with yam, rice, agidi/eko, bread e.t.c. as a main dish.