Mixed Bag Fishing Catch West African Fish Stew Recipe

West African Fish Stew Recipe made with a mixed bag catch from a rock fishing session.

Mixed Bag Fishing Catch West African Fish Stew Recipe

Mixed Bag Feed West African Fish Stew Recipe

I wanted to make this recipe so I gathered my spinning rod and set up the 12 ft lure rod for Black Drummer, also called Black Rockfish, or Pigs. I went out fishing off the ocean rocks for a mixed bag feed. I was expecting to catch more drummer but a bream and a couple of wrasse were just as well received. A couple of spearos came along after my first drummer and I didn’t catch another drummer. I don’t know if the spearos had anything to do with it or if there just weren’t any more Drummer there that day.

Fishing off the rocks like I usually do for Black Drummer I tossed out a #2 ball sinker with a sturdy hook. A small bead between the hook and sinker helps protect the knot from the sinker bashing it. Bits of Banana Prawn are usually what I use for bait when I’m doing this style of fishing for rock blackfish. 

West African Fish Stew Recipe made with a mixed bag catch from a rock fishing session.

A piece of prawn about 25 to 30mm with the hook pushed through it works well. I throw it out past the whitewash and slowly bounce it in 5 or 10 reel turns at a time slowly. The small ball sinker lets theprawn move around on bottom as the swell comes and goes. Once I get too close to the rocks I’ll reel in and throw out again in another direction. Drummer usually lets you know they are there and so do Bream. Wrasse and some of the other species you may find out they are there when you reel in. Keep the line a little snug and keep your index finger on the line to feel for sensitive bites.

I managed a few fish and packed up for the day as I had other things I had to take care of. It’s nice living close to somewhere to fish so that I can get out and fish for a bit. Sometimes I get 10 or 20 minutes and sometimes I get all day. I’ll take whatever time I can get.

West African Fish Stew Recipe made with a mixed bag catch from a rock fishing session.Here’s the recipe that I use for the West African Stew. My youngest son likes to grow hot peppers so we had an abundance of Bhut Jolokia White Ghost peppers. They are around a million Scoville units so I seeded and only used one for the entire dish and it was quite spicy. You can leave out the spice entirely but I feel that a little spice, even just a little, adds a lot of depth to this. You can go with as little or as much spice as you want and it’s still delicious.


  • 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil (any oil will work)
  • 1/2 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely diced
  • 1/2 inch of ginger finely diced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 2 to 3 medium vine tomatoes or handful of cherry toms
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper seeded (or habanero or scorpion) (optional)
  • 10 to 15 okra pods
  • 500 grams of prawns
  • 500 grams of white fish fillets
  • A few drops of liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 fish or chicken stock seasoning cube (or just use stock rather than water)
  • Water as needed

West African Fish Stew Recipe made with a mixed bag catch from a rock fishing session.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preparing the Base:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and caramelize them. When the onions begin to caramelize add in the diced garlic and ginger and sauté until the onions brown a little.

  1. Incorporating the Tomato Puree and Fresh Tomatoes:

Next stir in the tomato puree and the vine tomatoes. If you’re a fan of heat now’s the time to add the Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero chiles. I prefer to buzz the tomatoes in a blender but it isnt necessary. Cook until the tomatoes break down and form a thick sauce.It should take about 10 minutes while simmering.

  1. Adding the Okra:

Cut off the end cap of the okra and quarter the pods lengthwise. Chop the thin strips into 4 or 5 mm bits. Add the okra to the pot and simmer them until they start to soften. Stir occasionally. The okra will naturally help thicken up the sauce a little. Don’t cook the okra until it’s mushy. You want it to have some texture.

  1. Flavour Enhancements:

Crumble the fish or chicken stock seasoning cube into the pot. If you have it add a few drops of liquid smoke as it will add a depth of flavour. Pour in enough water to cover the ingredients if it gets too thick.

  1. Introducing the Seafood:

Now, it’s time for the prawns and the white fish fillets. Add them to the pot stirring gently to ensure they’re well-coated with the sauce. Skinless fillets are best in my opinion. It doesn’t matter what species of fish. I use Wrasse, Drummer, Bream, Flathead, Luderick, or whatever I get in my mixed bag. You can use Leatherjackets, Yakkas, whatever. This is a perfect mixed bag fish recipe.

  1. Simmering the Stew:

Reduce the heat to low cover the pot and let the stew simmer. Cook until the okra is tender and the seafood is cooked through usually just a few minutes. If you overcook this the prawns will be tough and the fish mushy. It isn’t hard to get right but pay attention to the prawns and fish. The fish will fall apart into small pieces. Try not to stir vigorously as it will flake the fish no matter what fish you used.It doesn’t really matter too much if the fish flakes into small bits but I like the texture of fish chunks.

  1. Serving the Stew:

Serve your delicious West African Fish Stew hot preferably with a side of rice or foo foo to soak up all that wonderful sauce. Foofoo is an African side dish similar to polenta or grits. It’s cooked and thickened corn meal. I prefer to add some chicken stock into it as it is otherwise quite bland. I usually just make rice as I can throw it into the rice cooker or pressure cooker while I make the stew.

Try a Mixed Bag West African Fish Stew Recipe

West African Fish Stew is a dish that embodies full flavour, cultural fusion, and nutritional balance. It’s more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of your catch whatever it might be. This is the perfect recipe for a mixed bag catch while out fishing for a feed and a great change from the usual fish and chips recipes.