Posts Tagged ‘obe ila’

Food: Dried Fish

Eja gbigbe with pepper and okra soup.

I really like fish. Salmon, halibut, tilapia–yes please. Raw fish in sushi–excellent. ‘Eja gbigbe’ the curled up brown thing you see in the bowl above is a different breed. ‘Eja gbigbe’ means dried fish in Yoruba and is extremely popular here. Mainly Hausa people make and sell it. You see it all over the markets hung up on long poles or stacked high in buckets. If you don’t see it first, you will definitely smell it. You poke a stick through the head and the tail to form it into a circle and use a combination of fire and sun to get the dried effect. The fish, usually either catfish or small eel, is dried with all the bones and guts inside. The smartest first step is to take the spine out first then eat the meat while maneuvering around the smaller bones. It tastes a bit salty and mostly takes on the flavor of whatever soup/stew you eat it with. Above, I ate it with spicy pepper and okra soup. Yummy! You eat the fish with your right hand only, along with most other foods here except rice. The first time I ate it I started before the Yoruba girl across from me and finished 15 minutes after her. Eating ‘eja gbigbe’ is definitely an art.

Road side stalls. Eja gbigbe on the platter in the front left.

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