Spicy Trout Chowder

» Posted on Sep 21, 2005 in African Recipes | 0 comments

Spicy Trout Chowder

Up on the Kenya Highlands the streams that come off the Aberdares and Mount Kenya are rich with Trout, mostly rainbows. These fish are not indigenous. Many years ago the early Game Wardens realized the suitability of the clear mountain water and “planted ” trout in these rivers, mostly for their own enjoyment and indulgence in fly fishing.

The Kikuyu people that lived in these dense forests had little appreciation, fish were unknown and not part of their diet.

Today the fish population is closely watched, fishermen are licensed and a few commercial fish farms have sprung up near the streams. There is always plenty of fresh trout available even if you are not a fisherman.

Here is an old classic Kenyan recipe given to my by Jonathan Bending of the Trout Tree Restaurant:

The link above takes you to visit our friends at African Tradition. Remember to mention Mt. Kenya when you make any wine purchase from their site and the Conservancy will benefit.

Enon Chardonnay

Enon Chardonnay from South Africa goes well with Spicy Trout Chowder

For six generous servings you will need:

  • 6 plate size trout, skinned and filleted, keep heads and bones aside
  • 4 Shallots
  • 2 green peppers
  • 3 sweet red peppers
  • 6 baby Zucchini
  • 6 redskin potatoes, parboiled
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1-2 hot chilies
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger and 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 limes
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flower
  • Two cans clear Vegetable broth, or fish stock
  • 3 cups milk
  • Thai fish sauce


  • Cube the trout filets, rub with a little garlic and mashed chilies and marinate them in fresh lime juice. Keep refrigerated for 1 hour.
  • Simmer the fish bones and heads for 1 hour in the Veg, broth, strain to prepare the fish stock (or use commercial fish stock).
  • Cut up all the veg and potatoes into small cubes, mash the garlic and chilies with seeds removed.
  • Fry the shallots, ginger, chilies and garlic in butter and a dash or two of Thai fish sauce.
  • Add the drained trout and fry until tender, set aside.
  • Add all the vegetables and potatoes and fry gently until tender.
  • Now add the fish stock, trout, sweet corn and 2 cups of milk
  • Mix one cup of milk with the flower and add to stock
  • Simmer until thick and bubbly
  • Season with pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • To finish stir in two tablespoon of rich fresh double cream
  • and sprinkle with chives

Serve with freshly baked basil bread

If you decorate the table with dry twigs and fish flies (cheap from the sports store), you might even pull off that story about the big one that got away!!

Bon appetite!

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy