Learn how to make rich, flavorful red stew-Nigerian style-and pair it with delicious salmon filets. This recipe is perfect for family gatherings and sponsored by the good folks at Kvaroy Arctic!
Growing up, I remember a pot of red stew being a mainstay on my Auntie Toyin’s stove. Now that I have my own kitchen, it’s important to me to continue traditions and give my family the best quality possible. West African cuisine includes so many different kinds of stews and red stew is one of the most basic and widely enjoyed. It pairs perfectly with a variety of proteins and is always served with rice. Toward the end of the year, we tend to slow down a bit and we gather often. And I make this basic stew a little more special with delicious, high-quality roasted salmon. We love to gather around food and this is a treat that everyone enjoys. It’s also simple for me to make. Let’s get into the details.
If you enjoy traditional West African Recipes, try these next!
- Ginger Immunity Drink
- Suya Spiced Prawns
- Traditional Yaji Spice Blend
If you’re looking for a way to elevate everyday meals during the holidays, I highly recommend this one, as there’s always much activity at this time of year and it’s a simple way to ensure you have a hearty meal on hand when guests pop up. We typically visit a few different homes each year for the holidays: mine, my Auntie’s, and my youngest brother’s. Each is decorated differently but we all love to incorporate lights-Christmas tree lights and candles, specifically. This is a sign of warm welcome that we’ve kept up with since our childhood. And while we don’t often decorate our exteriors (another childhood carryover), touring the extensively lighted homes in my neighborhood, Houston’s Historic Third Ward, is a tradition we look forward to each year.
What You’ll Need for this Recipe
So what is red stew made of? You probably have most of the ingredients to make red stew on hand already. Here’s the full list followed by helpful tools and tips.
- Avocado Oil (or another oil with a high smoke point)
- Bell Pepper (any color works but green in my preference)
- Black Pepper
- Curry Powder
- Kvaroy Arctic Salmon Filet Portions
- Maggi Cubes
- Roma Tomatoes (also called plum tomatoes or jos tomatoes)
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper (or habanero pepper)
- Sea Salt
- Tomato Paste
- Tomato Sauce
- White Pepper
For the salmon, I love the convenience of Kvaroy’s product bundles on Amazon, especially at this time of year, when I’m entertaining more and want to spend as much time as possible making holiday memories with my family. Kvaroy filet portions, smoked salmon, and more come straight to my door! You can find Kvaroy Arctic Salmon on Amazon or in stores across the country. Use their store locator to find the closest one to you.
Making Nigerian stew from scratch is surprisingly simple and only requires a few common tools. You’ll need a powerful blender to combine all the produce for this stew, as well as a sharp knife. Grab a deep pot to cook the stew in and a sheet pan to roast the salmon. Lastly a wooden kitchen spoon-and that’s it!
Why I Use Kvaroy Salmon
Does salmon go in red stew? Absolutely! Flaky, roasted salmon filets are the perfect vehicle for all that flavor and add so many benefits to this meal. Kvaroy salmon filets are certified by the American Heart Association, which is one of the reasons I love serving it to my dad, in particular.
Additionally, Kvaroy Arctic is a third-generation family-owned and operated salmon farm on Kvaroy Island (a postcard-worthy island with about 90 residents), which is in the Arctic Circle. I mentioned that quality is important to me when it comes to what my family eats, so I especially appreciate that Kvaroy Arctic ethically raises their salmon with no hormones or antibiotics and uses sustainable fish feed. The result is beautiful, delicious salmon with double the omega-3s of other farmed salmon!
Kvaroy’s Fair Trade Certified salmon is versatile so I love using it in other recipes as well. My 20-Minute Salmon Skillet is a fave for super quick weeknight dinners and we love this Creamy Salmon Pasta for special occasions.
What Does Red Stew Taste Like?
You can probably tell from the ingredients list that this stew is flavorful and spicy. Red Nigerian stew has a rich, savory tomato taste but isn’t overly acidic as the stew is essentially fried in cooking oil. It is savory and peppery with a bit of umami flavor. It’s also the flavor and color base for Nigeria’s iconic jollof rice. The texture of this tomato-based stew should be fairly smooth and it thickens a bit as it cooks.
What to Serve with Nigerian Tomato Stew
As I mentioned, stew MUST be served with rice. That’s a non-negotiable. This stew is filled with fresh vegetables but here are a couple of produce ideas to pair with your Kvaroy salmon stew plus my spin on Zobo, a popular Nigerian drink, to wash down the meal with.
- Fried Plantain (aka Dodo)
- Roasted Suya Brussels Sprouts
- Zobo (Hibiscus) Lemonade
Stew is normally served with white rice but feel free to substitute with brown if that’s your preference or double down on the flavor by serving stew with jollof!
Tips for this Recipe
- How do I know when the stew is done? Red stew is done when the texture is thickened and any bitter or tanginess (from the tomatoes) is cooked out. The color should be a dark red-orange. Cooking time is approximately 30 minutes for this.
- How do I know when the salmon is done? Roasted salmon is ready when the flesh has changed from red and translucent to pink and opaque. Press gently on the filet with a fork and it should flake. That’s how you know your salmon is done roasting. Cooking time is approximately 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit but will vary by appliance and altitude.
- What if my stew is too thin? If the stew is too thin, it likely needs to continue cooking down. As stew cooks, liquid is released from the produce and leaves the pot as steam. You can also add more pureed vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, and onions) without any additional water and allow the mixture to continue cooking down until thickened. It is not necessary to add thickeners such as cornstarch to red stew.
- How to store my salmon and stew? Store the stew and salmon together in an airtight container in the fridge. It keeps up to three days. You can also freeze this meal, however, I recommend separating the stew and salmon before doing so for easier reheating. Place each in separate airtight containers before freezing and thaw overnight in the fridge or in about six hours at room temperature, when ready to eat. Keeps in freezer for up to three months.
Enjoying traditional Nigerian foods is part of how we celebrate and preserve our culture for future generations and it is really a treat to be able to share with you. Sharing is, in fact, caring so be sure to pin this spicy fish stew recipe over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Cook Nigerian Stew with Salmon
Through this article, we hope to help you understand How to make stew salmon