Thursday, 22 September 2016 04:20

Boiled Palm Oil Stew

Chef Omolaja's Recipes: This dish is popular in Sierra Leone. In fact, it is saved for the weekend in many families as a special treat.

This dish is popular in Sierra Leone. In fact, it is saved for the weekend in many families as a special treat. I have added a western touch to the recipe below to create a mouthwatering fusion. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6 people



  • 1 1/2 pounds Snapper (or good fleshy fish), cut into large pieces
  • 8 ounces shrimp peeled and devein or large fleshy snail
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon palm oil, melted


  • 2 tablespoons palm oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper minced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cups bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup bouillon (stock made with Maggie cube)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 cups jasmine rice


Cook the Seafood

  1. Combine the fish, shrimp or snail, lime juice, garlic, ginger and palm oil in a large bowl. Toss everything together to combine and let the fish marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  2. After marinating, drain the seafood of any excess liquid. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions. Set aside once done.

Make the Stew

  1. In a large heavy duty pot, melt the palm oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, hot pepper, onions and bell peppers and sauté for 4-5 minutes until fragrant and the onions are softened. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and nestle the marinated seafood in the bottom of the pot. Season the stew with salt and pepper and then add the bouillon, tomato paste and coconut milk to the pan. It should just about cover the seafood.
  3. Bring the stew to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes until the shrimp/snail is cooked and the fish easily flakes apart. Taste and season with the juice of 1 lime, more if you'd like, and add basil and more salt if desired.
  4. Serve the stew over cooked Jasmine rice.

Let me know how you like your palm oil stew - what do you like to eat with it? Tweet @myafricanroots #omolaja.


Robert Refell

"As a chef, I have become known as someone who does not limit the scope of his possibilities to learn something new." Chef Omolaja Reffell earned an Associate in Arts, Culinary Arts, The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta and a Bachelors in Marketing from University of Maryland University College. He has worked as the Executive Chef at a top company in Northern Virginia with over 12 years of experience as a chef, and was a member of the Washington Redskins Catering Team.

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