Shito is a popular Ghanaian spicy black pepper sauce that is used as a condiment or a flavoring agent in many dishes. It is known for its rich, smoky flavor and spicy kick. Here’s a recipe to make Shito at home:
- 1 cup dried fish (such as herring or mackerel), cleaned and deboned
- 1 cup dried shrimp
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
- 10-15 African bird’s eye chili peppers (or substitute with other spicy chili peppers)
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground dried shrimp powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground crayfish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder or seasoning cube (optional)
- Salt to taste
- In a blender or food processor, grind the dried fish and dried shrimp into a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the saucepan. Sauté until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Add the ground dried fish and dried shrimp to the saucepan. Stir well to combine with the onions, garlic, and ginger.
- Add the tomato paste to the saucepan and mix well. Cook for a few minutes to allow the tomato paste to cook out and develop its flavors.
- Slice the African bird’s eye chili peppers lengthwise and add them to the saucepan. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of spiciness. Be cautious as these peppers are extremely hot.
- Add the ground dried shrimp powder (if using), black pepper, crayfish (if using), dried thyme, curry powder, paprika, and bouillon powder or seasoning cube (if using). Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. The sauce should darken and thicken during this time.
- Taste the sauce and season with salt as needed. Adjust the other seasonings according to your preference.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the Shito to cool completely. Transfer it to sterilized jars or containers for storage.
- You can enjoy Shito immediately, but it will develop more flavor if you let it sit for a day or two.