This Seafood Okra recipe is a delightful blend of fried okra, shrimps, clams, and codfish, spiced with rich, irresistible flavors that will hook you in from the first bite!
There is so much to love about this seafood okra dish. Everything about it just screams pure comfort food.
This Nigerian seafood okra is best eaten by itself and is prepared differently from the okro soup recipe, which can be eaten with fufu. It is so filling and nourishing due to the variety of seafood options you can make it with.
Ingredients used to make seafood okra
- Seafood: You can literally use any seafood combo that catches your fancy – prawns, catfish, crabs, tilapia, shrimps, etc. For this recipe, I use codfish, shrimps, and clams but I often mix it up based on my mood.
- Okra: I use roughly 2 cups of okra chopped in my food processor. You can use frozen okra but fresh is so much better. The okra has a nice firm bite to it when it’s fresh.
- Vegetables: Bell pepper and onions for a delicious infusion of flavor.
- Spices: Bouillon powder, cayenne pepper, ground crayfish, black pepper, and salt. You can substitute with your favorite spices but the cayenne pepper and bouillon powder combo are absolutely delish!
- Olive oil: to fry the vegetables.
How to make seafood okra
The prep work is a bit involved but the actual cooking takes only about 10 minutes. But the end result is worth it, I promise!
First, you have to prepare the seafood. This will vary with the type of seafood you have and whether you buy it pre-cooked or raw.
For this recipe, I use raw shrimps, clams, and codfish. I like to prepare it from scratch sometimes and season it how I want to but there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying it pre-cooked and just throwing it all in.
To save time, I have several things going on at the same time. I start by boiling the water for the clams while I prepare the codfish and shrimp.
Wash the seafood items and gently pat them. Since the codfish and shrimps will be pan-fried, we want to prevent an oil-splashing situation.
Add a little oil to a pan on medium heat. If you have a wide pan, you can fry both the shrimps and codfish together, side by side. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on both.
Stir fry the shrimp but flip the codfish just once, halfway. Let it cook for about 10 minutes. Once they’re done, set them aside.
Clams are quite easy to prepare. Make sure they are closed when you buy them. If any of the clams are open and would not close when you press it together, it means it’s not fresh anymore and you would have to toss it.
Add the clams to the boiling water and after a few minutes, they will begin to pop open. Shake the pot to make sure all of them have a chance to be steamed and open up.
Take them out and either leave them in the open shell or take it out of the shell completely. I leave mine in the shell but it really just boils down to preference.
Once the seafood is ready, let’s work on the vegetables. Chop the bell peppers and onions.
For the okra, you have several choices. You can chop them into large or small chunks with a knife, use a food processor to coarsely chop them, or use a grater.
I like the food processor option best because it is fast and easy and I like to feel the firmness of the okra when eating.
Add some olive oil to a wide skillet and pour in the chopped onions and bell pepper. Stir fry for roughly 5 minutes.
Add in the okra and all the spices - bouillon powder, cayenne pepper, ground crayfish, and black pepper. Add some salt if you need to.
Give it one big stir and add the seafood. You don’t really need the okra to cook for a long time; let it cook together with the seafood.
When you add the seafood, let it cook for about 5 minutes to absorb the flavors. The codfish might break apart and that's okay.
To prevent overcooking, turn off the heat and leave covered so the residual heat can continue steaming the dish.
Your seafood okra is ready to eat!
This recipe contains 6 net carbs and serves 4. It keeps very well in the fridge and can be stored for 3-4 days.
Tips and substitutions when making seafood okra
To make the process as short as possible, you can buy a seafood mix from your local grocery store.
For a more traditional flavor, substitute olive oil with palm oil.
The ground crayfish spice is optional but it gives a great umami flavor to the dish.
Enjoy these other low carb African soups and stews!
- Boil some water for the clams.
- Gently wash codfish, shrimp, and clams.
- Pat dry fish and shrimps.
- Add a little oil to a wide pan on medium heat and set your shrimps on one side and codfish on the other.
- Sprinkle salt and black pepper.
- Stir fry for 5 - 10 minutes, flipping the fish gently halfway through.
- Set aside when done.
- Add clams in boiling water.
- After a few minutes, they will begin to pop open.
- Shake the pot to make sure all of them open up.
- Drain and set aside.
Prepare the seafood okra
- Wash and chop off the stem end of the okra.
- Chop or coarsely blend it using a food processor.
- Chop the red bell pepper and onions.
- Add some olive oil to a wide skillet and pour in the chopped onions and bell pepper.
- Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the okra, bouillon powder, cayenne pepper, ground crayfish, and black pepper.
- Check for salt and add more if you need to.
- Give it one big stir and add in the shrimps, codfish, and clams and stir.
- Let it cook for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave covered till you're ready to serve.
- Enjoy your seafood okra!
- To make the process as short as possible, you can buy a seafood mix from your local grocery store.
- For a more traditional flavor, substitute olive oil with palm oil.
- The ground crayfish spice is optional but it gives a great umami flavor to the dish.