Hey, cooking enthusiasts and story lovers! It’s Afrikana Stories back with another recipe! Cooking has always been that “go-to” destressor for me. The longer, the better 🙂 Well, that USED to be the case before perimenopause. But when I’m strong enough, on those days, I love to cook. I love to spend the whole day in the kitchen, mixing new spices, trying new recipes, and enjoying the fruit of my labor with “select” family and friends! Honey don’t be inviting EVERYBODY to your table (that’s a Word). I digress… anyhow…
This recipe has a couple of twists and turns. I’m using the creative artificial intelligence technology to share my recipe! My very own designed AI narrator, Ama, took on the job of hosting such a special dish and shared some of my personal stories along the way. Watch the video for a quick tutorial OR keep reading for the dirty details of how to really cook this delicious dish! And everything in between 🙂 Pictures, videos and all…
Today, I’m excited to share a unique twist on a beloved Ghanaian classic – Tilapia Light Soup, infused with my African American Farm Girl touch. Get ready for a spicy and soulful culinary experience!
Every stage heals… in preparing this dish, every step involved a level of healing, whether it was the fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market, or the natural spices such as cumin or tumeric… If you take the time to prepare a meal from your heart, the results HAS to be healing. Trust the process of healing with intention!
🌶️ Ghana’s Tilapia Light Soup with an African American Farm Girl Twist 🙂
Ingredients for Fish Marinade
- 1 grated onion
- 1 inch grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 limes, juiced and added pieces
- 2 tablespoons fish seasoning
- 2 tablespoons special homemade hot sauce (REMIX)
- **an alternative to hot sauce – salt and white pepper to taste
- ***adjust the seasonings to your own taste and health regulations
Ingredients for Roasted Vegetables
- green bell peppers
- jalapeno peppers
- a head of garlic
- okra (REMIX)
- olive oil
- black pepper
- garlic & herb seasoning
Ingredients for Soup
- goat meat (or meat of your choice)
- bay leaves
- beef cubes
- bell pepper
- whole hot pepper, smashed
- white pepper
- spring onion bulb
- Adobe seasoning (or chicken cube)
- prekese (traditional Ghanaian soup flavoring)
- garden eggs
Watch the Video on YouTube by clicking on the image!
Step 1: Prepare Tilapia Fish & Aromatics
Order is important! It’s all about saving time and making the most of time in the kitchen. So think through what takes the longest to cook, and put that on LAST. (Yeah, last and I’ll explain why next… layer the flavors)
First, marinate the fish. Add all of the fish marinade ingredients into a pot with a lid (or covered dish). Anything to lock in all of these flavors we are adding!
**Tip: when working with onions, peel it under running cold water; if your eyes begin to burn while grating, step out of the kitchen into another space, then wet a cold towel and dab on your eyes (make sure your hands do NOT have the onion juice on them or else that will be a different story lol).
Second, Aromatics… roast your vegetables (REMIX), high heat oven (240C in the toaster oven for 45 minutes)
The Ghanaian recipe calls for boiling the vegetables with the chosen meat, then blending the soft-boiled vegetables together with their regular spices of thyme, chicken cube, and pepper. Or some variation of this…
I replaced this step by roasting my vegetables on high heat, with my own blend of spices. I added okra at this step just because I wanted to decrease the sliminess of the okra when I add it to the soup. (I was testing this out, never worked with okra before and it was a success!)
I roasted: tomatoes, green bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, a head of garlic, and okra (REMIX). I seasoned the veggies with olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic and herb seasonings (REMIX).
Storytime: My addiction/affliction with okra. I have a love/hate relationship with this vegetable. The love is that it is deeply rooted in my West African blood. My ancestors adored the vegetable, so there’s a connection there. But the hate, the sliminess of the vegetable! The texture makes me want to puke in my mouth. Actually, it feels like puke in your mouth (to me). But my obsession to connect to my ancestors overcome my ill-feeling of this texture. As I healer, I will find a way to enjoy it. Hence… I’m going to ROAST them suckers!!
Step 2: The Base of the Soup – Making the Stock
Time Management Tip: So goat meat takes freaking forever to cook! Don’t start here, because the longer the goat meat cooks, the longer the fish can marinate and become even better and flavorful for the soup! Trust the process.
Anyhow, so now that the veggies are in the oven roasting, let’s start the soup base.
In the big pot where you’re going to cook the soup, add your cleaned goat meat, bay leaves, beef cubes, onions, bell pepper, whole hot pepper (don’t slice it, just gently squeeze it – you want the flavor not the heat), white pepper, salt, spring onion bulb, cumin (healing), turmeric (healing), Adobe seasoning (or chicken cube), fill the pot with water to the brim. It will cook down so you want to add as much stock water at this point.
Tip: cook on high heat for first 20-25 minutes to skim off impurities, then low and slow for another 2 hours, until the goat meat is fork tender. This goat must’ve been an old one because it took 3 hours to get tender! Geesh…
Keep checking the level of water/stock throughout the process to make sure it doesn’t get too low.
Tip the lid when cooking low and slow, to release some of the steam and allow the soup to thicken (also to keep the pot from overflowing and making a mess on your stove)
***Last 20 minutes of the cooking process, drop in your garden eggs and a couple of whole tomatoes. We will blend these later. I know, this recipe calls for a lot of tomatoes (it IS a tomato-based soup).
NOTE: My house smells AH-MAZING after only cooking for less than one hour. That fresh goat meat smell made me nauseous, but once I added in all of the aromatics, wow, what a difference ingredients make when they work harmoniously together (that’s a Word).
Last and Final Step: Bringing It All Together
Blend and Cook AGAIN.
Pick out the cooked garden eggs and whole tomatoes and add to the blender.
Pick out the cooked goat meat pieces, place them on the cutting board, and chop into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
Using a strainer, strain the stock into another bowl and discard the remains. You only want the stock at this point. Set aside. Put the empty stock pot back on the stove on medium heat. Prepare it for the next step. You want the pot to be hot when you add the blended veggies so it can cook out the water quickly.
To the blender with the cooked garden eggs, whole tomatoes, add the roasted vegetables (remember to peel the roasted garlic). There is absolutely NO NEED to add salt or any flavor. That’s the purpose of the roasted veggies :). Blend until smooth as a baby’s bottom. Then blend some more! This will determine how thick your soup will be.
Tip: add a little of that goat stock to the blender to get it going, but don’t add too much or it will be too watery. We want a little base on our base 🙂
**Smell taste: Mmmm, it made me speak in tongues! Oh, my ancestors are here with me! Be careful of sniffing in all of those peppers though.. this soup is intended to be spicy (like me). The reason I knew it didn’t need any seasoning was the smell taste test. My grandma taught me to cook with my nose. When I smelled the before-blended veggies, I could smell the salt and spice by the tinkle of my nose.
Though I am taking my time to explain this process, you really do NOT have much time between blending and adding to the hot pot. Remember that you have a pan getting ready for this mixture. So blend quickly but smoothly then…
To the hot pot, add oil to cover the bottom, 2 bay leaves and 3 peppercorns. After 3 seconds, add the blended mixture and tomato paste to the hot pot. Cook on medium heat until all of the water has cooked out of the veggies. Only pictures can show this 🙂
Once cooked down and the base has darkened a bit, add the remaining stock to the pot with prekese.
Bring to a boil, add your marinated fish, cover slightly and cook for 5-8 minutes. The fish is already cooked at this point from the marinade in lime juice. It’s tender and ready for the picking! So slide it in and gently stir the soup. The flavor is so powerful, you only need to warm it thoroughly. No need to cook for hours anymore 🙂 Time management! REMIX!
Now serve with your favorite swallow! Mine is fufu 🙂