Easy Nigerian Fish Stew: Light Fish Stew (Imoyo)

Fish stew is a general name for a stew with a base or food ingredients of fish or seafood. It is common dish in Nigeria, Africa, West African countries and the world at large.

We have the Ghanaian, Chinese, Spanish, Brazilian, and African kind of fish stew. This stew/soup is a staple in most homes.

Nigerian fresh fish stew is a very popular healthy stew that is cooked with fish (fresh, steamed or fried/grilled), tomatoes, peppers and spices.

It is a good alternative for beef and chicken stew particularly if you are watching your weight and also on a low-calorie diet.

You can use any type of fish you desire for this recipe:  hake, (tilapia) or catfish, mackerel (a.k.a. Titus in Nigeria), panla or any fish of choice.

This Nigerian stew is enjoyed with most staple Nigerian foods. The stew goes well with:

  • Boiled rice
  • Bread
  • Boiled/fried yam
  • Plain boiled beans
  • Boiled/fried potatoes
  • Agidi/eko
  • Boiled/fried plantains
  • Boiled beans (plain)

It is also a common sight in Nigeria to see people add the fish stew to their soups or even eat swallow with it in place of soup

In today’s recipe, I will be cooking the imoyo fish stew which is one of the popular styles of cooking fish in Nigeria.

Imoyo Fish Stew Recipe

This light stew is delicious, different and easy to prepare. It is also very nutritious, rich in vitamins and proteins.

Imoyo is a special stew unique for its smooth texture and reddish-orange color.

The major challenge when cooking fish stew is that the fish scatters in the stew. In this recipe, i will show how to prepare it to be intact.


  • 3 medium-sized tilapia or any fresh fish of your choice
  • 6 -8 plum tomatoes
  • 1-2 tatashe
  • 3 atarodo peppers (habanero peppers)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • ½-1 cup palm oil
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Salt to taste


  1. Firstly, clean, wash and season the fish with salt. Add a little chopped onion, dry pepper, and a little seasoning and allow marinating for about 15 minutes.
  2. Then steam on low heat till the surface of the fish looks cooked.  Turn off the heat
  3. Thirdly, heat the palm oil in a pot but not enough to bleach it. Add the chopped onions and fry for about 2 minutes till translucent.
  4. After that, blend the tomatoes and peppers till a smooth almost-watery paste is achieved. Pour the blended fresh tomato and pepper mix straight into the pot. Add seasoning cubes and salt to taste.
  5. Now, allow the pepper mixture to boil, till it combines properly with the palm oil.
  6. Once the palm oil starts to rise above the tomato a bit, pour in the fish stock and the fish. Add a little water to bring the consistency to light and then, boil the fish until it is cooked right through.

Kitchen tip: to prevent the fish from breaking up, shake the pot instead of stirring with a spoon.

  1. Lastly, allow cooking on low heat for another 15 minutes, turning in circular motions at intervals and then turn off the heat.

Your imoyo stew is ready! Serve with yam, rice or plantain.

Imoyo Fish Stew
Imoyo Fish Stew

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