One of the things I miss about my one year National Youth Service in Cross River, Nigeria is the fresh seafood. That state lived up to his name (the river part). It was intriguing how freshly caught seafood was in abundance and cheap at that.
I particularly stayed in a local community for months. Here, we knew the time the fresh prawns, shrimps, sea snails, periwinkle snails, crabs, clams caught that morning would be displayed for sale.
For me, nothing really beats the flavour of fresh natural ingredients; and seafood is on the top of that list. Also, I love a kick of spice when making seafood or nausea would be knocking soon; the spice is however up to you- put as much peppers as you can handle.
I made this sauce countless times! It is quick and easy to make with just few ingredients to accompany the flavour of the fresh catch. My housemates loved it.
It is an incredibly delicious sauce🤤🤤; I have also tried substituting the pepper sauce in the best Egusi soup recipe with this sauce for a seafood version though with palm oil instead of olive oil- this perfect if you love seafood or you are catering to older people.
INGREDIENTS 6 Servings
- Scotch bonnet pepper 2 (aka ata rodo)
- Onions 1 big
- Long peppers 3 (aka tatase)
- Seafood mix 1 kg (shrimps, sea snails, periwinkle, calamari)
- Thyme 1/2 tbsp
- Rosemary 1 tbsp
- Salt 1 tsp
- Seasoning 1 cube
- Garlic 2 cloves (or 1 teaspoon powder)
Wash fresh seafood and pat dry with a kitchen paper or drain in a colander/sieve. Blend peppers and 3/4 onions with 2 cloves of garlic with 1/2 cup of water- blend coarsely, we want that texture! Thinly slice reamining onions and garlic.
Note: This pepper sauce was made from peppers blended with a hand grater as I was in a local community that hardly had electricity supply; this did not need additional water to blend it like an electric blender would- peppers have just enough water content in them already and will cook fast with intact flavour. Pulsing with a food processor would give a similar outcome, however, if you have to add water to blend yours; make sure the blend is coarse then drain out excess water with a sieve.
Heat up oil in a medium sized pan. Sautee 1 garlic clove and 1/4 onions for 2minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary, curry/turmeric, salt and seasoning and stir in to infuse in the oil for a minute. Toss in the seafood, stir intermittently for 5 minutes. Scoop out cooked seafood, set aside.
Note: seafood cooks really quick; if you are cooking crab or any other seafood that might take longer, you would want to steam that in seasoned boiling water for about 15 minutes before adding to this sauce.
Add ground pepper mix to the hot oil on medium high heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir intermittently. Stir in the cooked seafood to coat in the juicy simmering pepper. Turn off the heat.
Serve hot/warm; with rice, yam, potatoes, fries, boli… yessss, what’s your preference? Yummy, spicy and flavourful.