Many large lakes lie within East Africa - Victoria, Tanganyika, Rudolph, Edward, Albert - all well stocked with fish. And there’s the Nile River too, which is abundantly endowed. (Nile trout are enormous. There’s a sign in front of Chobe Lodge in Murchison Falls Park instructing fishermen to throw back any fish under 25 pounds!) In fact, my children - suspicious fish eaters at best - heartily enjoyed talapia, a firm white fish that inhabits Ugandan waters in profusion.

At or near the source of supply, fresh fish provides embellishment for the stew pot. Beyond, the housewife must rely on dried fish. In this part of Africa, too, the fish supply far exceeds the demand for this high-protein potential.

In Uganda the cooking method most often used is wrapping the fish in banana leaves and dropping it into boiling water. salt is the basic seasoning - anything else by way of flavoring depends on what’s at hand. Lacking a handy supply of banana leaves, we can best ensure retention of moisture and flavor by simple steaming.


1 whole, fresh fish (1 to 2 pounds), cleaned

salt to taste

cup each chopped onions and chopped tomato (optional)


Season fish with salt. Sprinkle with chopped onions and tomato if desired. Place fish in a steamer or on a rack in a stewing pan. Cover bottom of pan or steamer with boiling water (keep water below fish), and simmer until fish is cooked.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.


country : Uganda

course : fish dish


source : Best of Regional African Cooking / Harva Hachten