Soupoukandia (Okra And Seafood Stew)

recipe image
Fish sauce and nutty palm oil flavor this luscious stew, undoubtedly a predecessor of Louisiana-style gumbo.


  • 12 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 4 cups thick-sliced okra
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp. palm oil (available from iHerb)
  • 4 tbsp. fish sauce (available from Amazon)
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into large chunks, or 4 small Thai eggplants
  • 2 habanero or Scotch bonnet chiles, slit in half lengthwise
  • 24 mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooked white rice or fonio, for serving (see below for ordering)


  1. Make the vegetable broth: Bring the stock to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan over high heat, then add okra, bay leaves, and onions. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until okra is very tender and stock has reduced by one-quarter, about 1 ½ hours.
  2. Make the seafood soup: Add the palm oil, 3 tbsp. fish sauce, eggplant, and chiles to the vegetable broth, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soup has thickened and okra falls apart, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add mussels and shrimp; cover pan, and cook until mussels open and shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  4. To serve, remove from heat and stir in remaining fish sauce and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, and serve with rice or fonio.

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