How To Make Catfish Pepper Soup

Pepper soup is one of the staples of Nigerian cuisine, and it cannot be imagined without some kind of protein. Nigerians cook pepper soup with chicken, goat meat, and other proteins, but fresh fish pepper soup remains a popular alternative to other meats.

In order to know how to prepare fish pepper soup, you need to learn the basics of making pepper soup. Luckily, the process of how to prepare fresh fish pepper soup isn’t that complicated. Find out how to cook catfish pepper soup right now!


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1. How to wash catfish

Before you move on to learning how to make fresh fish pepper soup, you need to know that catfish is rather tricky to work with, and the trickiest part may be the cleaning of a freshly bought fish. We’re mainly talking about the slime, which can affect the visual effect and taste of the dish and is exceptionally hard to wash off.

The two methods not recommended by professional chefs are washing the slime off with hot water since the catfish begin cooking while you’re cleaning it, and using ash, since it’s considered to be unhygienic.

However, there are two methods that chefs and amateur cooks swear by when it comes to washing the fish. The first is using a slice of lemon combined with running water from the tap. The second is doing it with garri, which will gently scrub the slime off thanks to its abrasive properties.

2. Ingredients for catfish pepper soup

Wondering how to prepare catfish pepper soup? Make sure you have the ingredients for your fish pepper soup recipe ready!

  • Catfish – 500g
  • Onions – 2
  • Habanero or chili pepper – 1
  • Ehu or Ariwo seeds – 4
  • Stock cubes – 2
  • Scent leaves, salt, and pepper to taste

3. How to make catfish pepper soup

Follow these steps to find out how to cook fish pepper soup that tastes and looks incredible!

  1. The biggest secret of this catfish pepper soup recipe is preparing the fish for cooking. Cut the catfish into 1 inch-thick slices and pour boiling water over it, stirring the fish for a bit and draining the water. This is done in order to prevent the fish from falling apart in the soup.
  2. Heat your Ehu seeds in a dry pan until you can smell the distinct scent coming from the seeds or can easily pull off the membrane covering the seeds. Take the seeds out, get rid of the membranes, and grind them to a powder consistency.
  3. Peel and dice the onions, pick off and chop the scent leaves.
  4. Put your fish slices into a pot and pour cold water until the fish is completely submerged. Add the stock cubes and start cooking at medium heat to bring the water to a boil.
  5. When the water starts boiling, add the rest of your ingredients, except for the salt, and continue cooking until the catfish is done and tender.
  6. After the catfish is ready, salt to taste and allow the soup to simmer on low heat for 5 more minutes.
  7. The fish soup tastes best when it’s hot, which is why it should be served immediately. For an even better taste and nutritional value, serve the soup with white rice or yam.

4. Other ways to make fish pepper soup

If for any reason, you don’t eat catfish, there are other ideas on how to make fish pepper soup Nigerian chefs widely praise. One of the best alternatives to catfish soup is tilapia fish pepper soup, which is done the same way as pepper soup with catfish.

If you’re looking for a fun twist on the traditional fish pepper soup recipe, you can also learn how to make croaker fish pepper soup. Keep in mind that croaker fish is more delicate than catfish, which means it will be done faster and it’s important not to overcook it.


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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 3-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!