Recipe: South Sudanese Shorba Samak Flavorful Classic Fish Soup

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Shorba Samak, also known as fish Soup, is a traditional Middle Eastern and Northeast African dish with fish as the main ingredient. In Arabic cooking, the word “shorba” describes a particular kind of soup or broth.

Depending on the country, the precise recipe and ingredients change. However, Shorba Samak typically contains fish, often tilapia, vegetables like onions, tomatoes, occasionally carrots, and various spices and herbs.

Cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, turmeric, and paprika are a few of the typical spices used in this recipe. 

It’s wise to season the soup with garlic, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, as is customary with fish dishes. Apart from garlic, these ingredients are optional.

Frequently served as an appetizer or a light main course with bread or rice, shorba samak is renowned for its robust flavor and comforting qualities. You’ll love the hearty and flavorful soup made from a combination of fish, vegetables, and aromatic spices.

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How to Prepare Shorba Samak

Recipe: South Sudanese Shorba Samak Flavorful Classic Fish Soup
Some ingredients for preparing Shorba Samak. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ingredients

  • Salt to taste 
  • 3 tilapia fish 
  • 1 large onion 
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder

Instructions

  1. Scrape the fish scales  using a fish-scraping tool.
  2. Wash and cut the fish to the desired size. Two to three pieces per fish are okay. 
  3. Dice the onion evenly. You can choose to slice it bigger or smaller. However, since this is a soup recipe, it’s best to dice the onions finely.
  4. Pour the oil into a nonstick saucepan and bring it to boil
  5. Add the diced onions and stir fry for a few minutes
  6. Add 1 cup water to the diced onion. For efficiency, you can use hot water. You can also use fish broth in place of water.
  7. Allow the water to boil, then add the 2 cinnamon sticks.
  8. Add the coriander powder, stir with a wooden spatula, and cover it to boil
  9. After 10 minutes,  add salt and mash the onions using the wooden spatula
  10. Add 2-3 cups of water again
  11. Add the vegetable stock and cardamom pods
  12. Add the black pepper and stir
  13. Add the fresh fish to the boiling sauce
  14. Add the garlic
  15. Gently stir to prevent the fish from breaking
  16. Cover it and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes
  17. Stir gently so the fish doesn’t break
  18. Taste and adjust salt
  19. Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat 
  20. Serve with rice
  21. Ladle the hot shorba samak over the rice.
  22. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.

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Video credit: Asedo’s Kitchen

Asedo is a South Sudanese home cook. She loves cooking and experimenting with different cuisines. Her YouTube channel focuses mainly on Sudanese, South Sudanese, and Kenyan recipes, which she shares weekly.

spotcovery-Fish-soup

South Sudanese Shorba Samak

South Sudan
Recipe: South Sudanese Shorba Samak Flavorful Classic Fish SoupSedi Djentuh
Shorba Samak, also known as fish Soup, is a traditional Middle Eastern and Northeast African dish with fish as the main ingredient. In Arabic cooking, the word “shorba” describes a particular kind of soup or broth.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine African, North African
Servings 4
Calories 128 kcal

Equipment

Nonstick Saucepan
Wooden Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 tbsp Salt to taste
  • 3 tilapia fish
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder

Instructions
 

  • Scrape the fish scales using a fish-scraping tool
  • Wash and cut the fish to the desired size. Two to three pieces per fish are okay.
  • Dice the onion evenly. You can choose to slice it bigger or smaller. However, since this is a soup recipe, it’s best to dice the onions finely.
  • Pour the oil into a nonstick saucepan and bring it to boil
  • Add the diced onions and stir fry for a few minutes
  • Add 1 cup water to the diced onion. For efficiency, you can use hot water. You can also use fish broth in place of water.
  • Allow the water to boil, then add the 2 cinnamon sticks.
  • Add the coriander powder, stir with a wooden spatula, and cover it to boil
  • After 10 minutes, add salt and mash the onions using the wooden spatula
  • Add 2-3 cups of water again
  • Add the vegetable stock and cardamom pods
  • Add the black pepper and stir
  • Add the fresh fish to the boiling sauce
  • Add the garlic
  • Gently stir to prevent the fish from breaking
  • Cover it and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes
  • Stir gently so the fish doesn’t break
  • Taste and adjust salt
  • Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat
  • Serve with rice
  • Ladle the hot shorba samak over the rice.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 3.5ounce servingCalories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 41.4gProtein: 26gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 191.3mgPotassium: 1215mgFiber: 3.4gVitamin A: 100.8IUVitamin C: 76.8mgCalcium: 6.6mgIron: 14.7mg
Keyword Fish Soup, Fresh Fish Soup, Shorba Samak
Liberian Palaver Sauce
Palava sauce in Liberia is a combination of jute leaves, dry fish, meat, chicken, palm oil, and spices. Ultimately, you will have a tasty sauce that is great for fufu or rice.
Check out this recipe
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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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