Equatorial Guinean Grilled Fish with Three Sauces

Equatorial Guinean Grilled Fish with Three Sauces

This recipe, Equatorial Guinean Grilled Fish with Three sauces, is one of the traditional and staple recipes of that country. As we’ve researched recipes from all around the world, we’ve come to notice many patterns and tastes in various regions. In this case, the importance of peanut butter in Central African cooking has stood out. We’ve already added a dish from Benin that also uses large quantities of peanut butter Lamb and Peanut Stew, and this dish is yet another example of how common peanut butter, or what Africans often call groundnut, is in their cooking. We’re assuming it’s because it’s quite easy to obtain, it’s native and it’s cheap, as we all know that African cuisine is quite earthy and “of the land”. One of the things that we loved about this dish is that, on one hand it has that very simple, earthy element to it, and yet the three sauces provide such an interesting dimension to the fish and provide so many flavours of Africa.

Equatorial Guinean Grilled Fish with Three Sauces
One of the things that we loved about this dish is that, on one hand it has that very simple, earthy element to it, and yet the three sauces provide such an interesting dimension to the fish and provide so many flavours of Africa.
Ingredients
  • 4 firm fish steaks, about 200g each (eg kingfish, swordfish, mackerel, barramundi or tuna)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely diced
  • 1 scotch bonnet, minced or pounded to a paste (or 2 green chillies)
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or palm oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 batch each of Guinean Peanut Sauce, Guinean Spinach Sauce, and Guinean Avocado Sauce
For Guinean peanut sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ onion, diced
  • pinch of oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • ½ habanero chilli, pounded to a paste (or 1 green chilli)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
For Guinean spinach sauce
  • 300 g spinach, de-stemmed and finely chopped
  • 100 g smoked fish, flaked
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons peanut butter
  • 350 ml warm water
  • ½ cup palm oil (or peanut oil with some turmeric and paprika for colour)
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli, left whole but scored (or 2 green chillies)
For Guinean avocado sauce
  • 200 ml beef stock
  • 200 ml water
  • ½ chilli, pounded to a paste
  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Rinse the fish then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Season the fish liberally with salt & pepper then place in a glass or ceramic baling dish. Add the garlic and chillies, then pour the lime juice over the top. Turn a few times to ensure they’re evenly coated, cover with foil, then place in the fridge to marinate for 1½ hours.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauces. To prepare the peanut sauce, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Pound the tomato and chilli together into a paste and add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes then add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
  3. To prepare the spinach sauce, fry the onion in a little of the palm oil until softened. Mix the peanut butter with the water and add to the pot along with the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until well thickened. Add the palm oil, remove the chillies and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. To prepare the avocado sauce, bring the stock to a boil and add all the ingredients except the peanut butter. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Extract 6 tablespoons of the broth, mix with the peanut butter and return to the pot. Cook for a further 10 minutes, and serve warm.
  5. When ready to cook the fish, heat a grill or barbecue. Drain the fish, pat dry and then brush with the palm oil and season with salt & pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes per side, arrange on a plate and serve with the sauces.

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