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Recipe: Try the Tasty Gabonese Traditional Poisson Salé

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The Gabonese poisson salé derives its name from the special salted fish used to prepare the sauce. Poisson salé simply means salted fish that’s mostly dried to preserve it.

Poisson salé is a fish common in West Africa, especially along the coastal areas where fish are common. Inhabitants harvest a lot of skippered herring, tilapia, and cod, which they salt, dry, smoke, or fry to preserve for later use. 

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This method of preserving fish has been available since the 19th century in North Africa, the Caribbean, and parts of Asia like China. Sea salt is mostly used to preserve fish. 

Eating poisson salé without washing properly has peculiar health effects, such as high blood pressure and kidney issues. Hence, it’s important to soak and wash any salted fish thoroughly before using it to cook. 

People Also Read: Recipe: South Sudanese Shorba Samak Flavorful Classic Fish Soup

How to Prepare Poisson Salé

Wash and cut poisson sale in cubes. Image source: YouTube
Wash and cut poisson sale in cubes. Image source: YouTube

Ingredients

  • 1 Maggi cube
  • Green onions
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1 salted, dried fish
  • Spinach, chopped
  • 4 habanero peppers
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1” of ginger (Optional)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

Instructions

  1. Soak the dry-salted fish in water for an hour, remove it from the water, take the bones and fins out, and cut them into pieces. Boil water and use it to rinse the dry-salted fish. This removes the excess salt, so the poisson salé is not salty. You can also soften it in hot water for a few minutes. 
  2. Wash the Poisson Salé again in cold water to remove excess salt.
  3. Pour oil into a skillet and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Spice the Poisson Salé and fry it in the hot oil for a few minutes.
  5. In a separate pot, bring the oil to a boil and sauté the onions.
  6. Add all the vegetables, including the hot pepper, stir, and cover to cook for 5 minutes.
Adding the spinach to poisson salé . Image source: YouTube
Adding the spinach to the poisson salé. Image source: YouTube
  1. Mix the spinach in the sauce and allow it to steam for a few minutes.
  2. Add the Poisson Salé to the sauce and stir.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and additional whole habanero pepper. 
  4. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the fire.
  5. Serve with your favorite rice or boiled yam.

Tips for Making and Using Poisson Salé

  • Always wash the Poisson Salé thoroughly to remove the excess salt. For best results, wash under a running tap. 
  • Soak the fish in hot water to soften it.
  • You can add other vegetables like carrots, garden eggs or eggplant in place of spinach
  • Should you go the gravy way, sprinkle a handful of parsley not just for aesthetics but also for taste and aroma. 
  • You can use poison salé in soups like groundnut soup, light soup, or palm nut soup.
  • Avoid using salt when cooking with salted fish.
  • Poisson salé has a distinct smell due to its preservation. For the best result, especially when making sauce or stew, fry it after a thorough wash.

People Also Read: Recipe: Togolese Gboma Dessi: A Classic Togolese Dish

Video credit: Bliss la Choupinette

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This YouTube channel shares African recipes you should try.

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Gabonese Poisson Salé

Sedi Djentuh
The Gabonese poisson salé derives its name from the special salted fish used to prepare the sauce. Poisson salé simply means salted fish that’s mostly dried to preserve it.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine African
Servings 5
Calories 82 kcal

Equipment

Skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Maggi cube
  • Green onions
  • 2 onions minced
  • 1 salted dried fish
  • Spinach chopped
  • 4 habanero peppers
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 ” of ginger Optional
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped

Instructions
 

  • Soak the dry-salted fish in water for an hour, remove it from the water, take the bones and fins out, and cut them into pieces. Boil water and use it to rinse the dry-salted fish. This removes the excess salt, so the poisson salé is not salty. You can also soften it in hot water for a few minutes.
  • Wash the Poisson Salé again in cold water to remove excess salt.
  • Pour oil into a skillet and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Spice the Poisson Salé and fry it in the hot oil for a few minutes.
  • In a separate pot, bring the oil to a boil and sauté the onions.
  • Add all the vegetables, including the hot pepper, stir, and cover to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the spinach in the sauce and allow it to steam for a few minutes.
  • Add the Poisson Salé to the sauce and stir.
  • Add the vegetable broth and additional whole habanero pepper.
  • Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the fire.
  • Serve with your favorite rice or boiled yam.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 82kcalProtein: 18gFat: 67gSaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 2300mgPotassium: 413mgVitamin A: 11.91IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 45.36mgIron: 0.71mg
Keyword Poisson Salé
Chad’s Kisra
Kisra is a fermented flat sorghum and wheat flour bread popular in South Sudan, Sudan, and Chad. You can enjoy kisra with any stew or sauce of your choice. If you’re looking to try it, you’ll need sorghum and wheat flour, water, and oil.
Check out this recipe
spotcovery-making-kisra

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Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on Spotcovery.com are affiliate links. If you click and purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products and services we believe will provide value to our readers. Thank you for your support!
Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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