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Omena Small Fish

Submitted by:

Rose Owuor



Country of Origin:


Cook time:

45 minutes




1/2 kilogram small fish “Omena”
1 liter cooking oil for deep frying
1 teaspoon salt
1 green pepper
1 onion
3 tomatoes
Two medium-sized carrots
Maggi cubes
Dhania (coriander)
Royco seasoning
Ugali (maize meal or corn meal) or rice


1. Sort the small fish to remove shells and stones, wash in lukewarm water, and then boil with good amount of water in a saucepan for 15 minutes.
2. Sieve from the boiling water and wash again in a container of cold, clean water.
3. In a clean saucepan, add 1 cup of water, then add the boiled and cleaned Omena.
4. Add salt and maggi cubes, boil until dry.
5. Deep fry the fish in oil (determine the texture desirable to you), remove, and drip off oil.
6. In a clean saucepan, fry chopped onions, tomato, green pepper, and dhania.
7. Add finely grated carrots and sprinkle some Royco seasoning.
8. Take the dripping, deep fried Omena and add it to the fried vegetable mixture.
9. Turn fish and wait to set for about 5 minutes, or until dry.
10. Serve hot with ugali or rice.

What makes this recipe special?

“Omena,” as this dish is popularly known in western Kenya, is both delicious and nutritious. It is recommended for women and girls, mostly because it is rich in iron. It is a delicacy in Western Kenya and can be cooked in several styles. My style—wet fried—is the best and most popular because it tastes heavenly, appeals to the eyes, smells delicious, and can be eaten by everybody who likes seafood. If cooked with soup, it is regarded as a poor man’s dish! But wet fry Omena is acceptable by both the poor and the rich in society. When the poor want to change the menu from locally available vegetables, which are usually the cheapest, they take Omena. When the rich want to eat healthy, they take Omena. Omena is easily available in the market, and the price is affordable. It is delicious and healthy.

Additional notes:

This dish is traditionally accompanied by ugali (maize meal) and some green vegetables such as kale.