Zambia - White Fish with Greens
For a long time, I’ve been dealing with issues of bloating. I thought it was carb related, nope. But lowering my carbs definitely helped. I’ve tried many diets for many different things, but the one thing I haven’t tried? Reducing my meat intake. And upping my veggie intake. So that’s what I’ve been planning on doing for a while. So with this dish, I specifically started researching vegetarian options of countries. I’ve also told myself that every time I go grocery shopping, to buy fruit. Regardless of whether this works or not, I need more greens and fruits in my diet!
Anyway, enough about my problems and let’s get into the dish! First, I don’t even know if this is an “official” dish of any sort in Zambia. I found a version of this recipe on a very simple one page website that lists some of Zambia’s more popular dishes, but this is the only fish of this sort that I’ve been able to find really. The spinach part is really close to “ifisashi” but not quite 100%.
The fish is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and blackened in a pan with butter. What’s amazing to me is HOW flavorful this dish is without really any seasonings. I only used salt and pepper and the flavors were outstanding. The rest of the flavors relied on lemon juice, parsley, onions, garlic, etc… Just simply amazing. And I don’t feel terribly guilty eating it! It’s all vegetables with a filet of fish. Yum. HOWEVER, luckily, the recipe stated I could use any white fish. Originally, this dish calls for a Tiger Fish. I assumed it was those little fish you get for your little kid’s first pet fish… NOPE. The African tiger fish is SCARY...
The okra side dish also relies on just simple ingredients with only a little oil and salt! But it’s really a perfect side dish for any meat dish. Lots of people eat it with nshima, which is a maize flour sort of porridge (that can also be rolled into a dough roll shape. Delicious. Really an amazing meal.
7 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound spinach
1 pound white fish filets (ex: tilapia)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoons ground peanuts
Lemon wedge, to garnish
Okra and Green Beans
1/2 pound okra, chopped
1/2 pound green beans, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
White Fish with Greens
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion and tomatoes until soft, about 5 minutes. Be sure to continually stir.
Add the garlic and the spinach. Give it a good mix and reduce the heat to low for about 5-7 minutes, until the greens have wilted.
Season the fish with salt and pepper.
In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the 4 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted, fry the fish filets on both sides until golden and cooked through. Depending on the thickness, should not take more than 3-5 minutes per side. Continue doing this until all the fish filets are done. Remove from a pan and keep warm.
Add the remaining 3-4 tablespoons of butter to the pan you used for the fish. Melt and stir until the butter starts to turn golden. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.
When ready, serve the wilted greens on a plate. Place a fish filet on top and drizzle with the butter sauce. Garnish with lemon wedges and ground peanuts.
Okra and Green Beans
Heat a pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is ready, add oil and wait until it starts to shimmer. Season the oil with salt.
Add the okra and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the green beans and saute for an additional 7 minutes.
Now, add both the tomato and onions, and stir for another 5 minutes before it’s ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Zambian Kitchen.