Cooking with Concern: A Congolese Recipe to Try at Home

November 22, 2021
Written by Princese Elle

Based in the United Kingdom, YouTuber and Congolese Chef, Princese Elle (Let’s Cook with Elle) shares a recipe for Congolese salt fish to try at home.

This year the Concern Global Gala: Unite to Fight Hunger is all about the power of food. That’s why we’ve partnered with some amazing chefs to stand united to fight global hunger. As a special treat, we will be sharing a few recipes that celebrate the human spirit and the power of food in the countries we operate.

Princese Elle (Photo: Facebook)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second-largest country in Africa, with 89.56 million people. Home to the second-largest forest and river globally, DRC produces fertile grounds for sought-after natural resources. Yet, centuries of exploitation have left DRC in one of the world’s most complex and protracted crises with compounding challenges, including high levels of poverty, continuous armed conflict in many parts of the country, disease outbreaks, and food insecurity. 

Operating in the country for over two decades, Concern’s key projects include emergency response programs to the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis and addressing issues such as malnutrition and gender inequality. Although the challenges may be numerous, DRC’s natural beauty produces bountiful harvests and flourishing vegetation. 

Congolese food inspires warm spices of chili and ginger to flavor staples of starches and vegetables that accompany fish and meat dishes. Based in the United Kingdom, YouTuber and Congolese Chef, Princese Elle (Let’s Cook with Elle) shares a flavorful recipe to try at home. 

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Makayabu (Congolese Salt Fish) Recipe 

Serves 4


  • ¼ onion 
  • 1 bell pepper  
  • 1 tsp. Tomato puree 
  • ½ tsp. of garlic paste 
  • 1 tsp. of chicken bouillon 
  • 3 tbsp. of canned tomatoes  
  • 1 tsp. of chili sauce 
  • Vegetable Oil  
  • Water 
  • 2lbs. Salt Fish 

Salt Fish Cooking Instructions 

Heat enough oil for the salt fish to sit shallowly over medium heat until simmering in a large skillet. 

Add salt fish skin down in the skillet and fry for 5 minutes. 

Flip salt fish over so the other side can cook for 2 – 3 minutes. 

When the salt fish starts changing to a golden color, remove it from the skillet.  

Salt Fish Sauce Cooking Instructions 

Chop onion and pepper. 

Add 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium heat until it is simmering. 

Add onion to simmering skillet and wait to soften. 

Add bell pepper, chicken bouillon, canned tomato, tomato puree, garlic paste, and chili sauce to simmering skillet, stirring all ingredients together often. 

Add water up to the same level as the ingredients stirring occasionally, and leave to sit on low heat for 5 minutes 

Add sauce on top of cooked salt fish and enjoy! 

The missing ingredient

Salted and dried freshwater fish is a significant source of protein, and one you can find in many markets in DRC. While markets serve as a vital point of food access, overall undernourishment affects 41.7% of the country’s population of 89.56 million adults and children. That means over 37 million Congolese are not getting the baseline level of nutrients they need to stay healthy. Seeking to integrate malnutrition activities into our existing programs, Concern needs your support to deliver life-saving programs to the most vulnerable people in the hardest-to-reach places facing hunger.