There is absolutely nothing that can be compared to its taste, made from its unique ingredient for without which it can be made. It leaves your taste bud very jumpy even though it is a local dish, anyone from anywhere can enjoy it. I remember the first time I tasted it, I was so eager to taste it over and over again plus I think I actually ate the soup with rice five times that day because I had lost interest in eating any other food. To satisfy your curiosity, I am referring to a soup known as ‘Banga’. This soup is mostly eaten among indigenes of Delta State, Nigeria.
My oh my! I never understood why a fish would be called a cat; not until I saw it’s whiskers of course.
Truth be told, I never really liked cat fish. One of the reasons being that it’s slimy. I cringe whenever I see the yucky slime that comes with it. As in, those things stick to your teeth and it becomes annoying. I read somewhere that the slime does have some benefits (topic for another day)
Apart from the slimy things on the fish, I could not find any wildly grown cat fish. Yes, I kind of like the wild raised fish and yes it is kind of better for you. For these two reasons I gave up the cat fish for a while 🙂
After years of not eating cat fish, I decided to research ways to clean it and after asking 101 questions, I came up with the best and working process for me; which I hope works for you too.
For some, alum works the magic; just like with cleaning snails. Now, what is alum? Alum is a chemical compound which is the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfate. Although it does have a lot of amazing benefits, I try to stay clear of these chemicals except I really have the need for it.
For some, the use of ash and a sponge works. It was so fascinating to read what some of the members of the Facebook food group “So you think you can cook” had to say about cleaning cat fish. Some used ash, salt, lemon, lime and the list goes on.
I have to say, this process is simple and short, but if you are using the fish’s head; then special attention has to be paid to it as it does contain a lot of blood and can hoard worms easily as opposed to the other parts of the fish. Cat fish are known to roll in mud; hence it is easy for anything to breed inside of them.
When it comes to cleaning the other parts of the fish, I use hot water and a blunt knife. And as for the head, I add some salt and a little lime to help with the cleaning process.
If you ever had a fear of “the slime,” just follow the process below and enjoy your catfish with your favorite recipe 🙂
*Cleaning your catfish
Gut, cut, clean and rinse your cat fish; then place it into a bowl
Bring some water to a roaring boil and pour it over the fish. Let it sit in the water for about 2 minutes. This will help the cat fish to stay intact when cooking and remove the slime. You should be able to see the slime come off the fish once in the hot water
Drain the water from the fish and using a blunt knife, scrape the slime off the fish and rinse in cold water
If using the head, make sure to split it long ways, pour in some hot water and salt then squeeze in some lime. Let it sit for 2 minutes. Drain; then using a blunt knife make sure to scrape off the slime and thoroughly wash the blood off the fish
Once the fish is clean, use it with your favorite recipe 🙂
What does it mean to be a Nigerian?
What does it take to be a Nigerian?
What does it mean to be an African?
I remember the first time my dad told my aunt that he wanted to eat his yam with Enemundo sauce, my siblings and I were stunned by the name because we had never heard of it until that time. Out of curiosity, I asked my aunt what my dad was talking about and as you would expect, she said to me “if you want to know, come and learn what it is and how to prepare it in the kitchen” but I was reluctant with a lazy ass to watch her prepare the meal so I passed on that first opportunity. Once she was done, trust me, I could not resist the temptation to have a taste of it as I just stared at my dad eat his meal on the dinning table from the living room. I warmed up some courage and asked my dad to let me have a taste. As soon as I tasted it, it tasted better than any continental dish I had ever eaten in my entire life.
- Africans love dry fish, but I never met a set of people who love and eat dry fish as Nigerians do. Even me as a self-trained chef, I love dry fish. If you gave me a bag of dry fish, I would pick through it until I ate the whole thing. Have you ever tried soaking garri with cold water and dry fish? Praise the LORD!
- I was always fascinated by how dry fish is processed i.e grown and dried(from farm to table). So, I did a poll on my Facebook page and someone commented with Eketi’s name as one who knew a lot about the rearing of fish. Eketi is a story teller and a fabulous writer at ketimae.wordpress.com . She doesn’t know this, but I’m a silent fan of her writing. Anway, I spoke to her and here is what she had to say. Continue reading “Dry Fish. From Farm to Table (Who Chop Dry Fish Pass For Africa)”