20 Most Popular Foods in Equatorial Guinea

To understand the gastronomy of Equatorial Guinea, it is important to understand its diversity. Like almost every African country, the ethno-cultural groups living in Equatorial Guinea provide great culinary diversity.

In Equatorial Guinea, five main groups coexist: Fang, Bubis, Ndowe, Bisios, and Annabonese. Each group has its own separate kitchen, although some dishes are shared among themselves.

Western dishes have also become popular in the country and are served in local restaurants. Surprisingly, many local dishes, which are very popular with the locals, are only prepared at home and are not on the menus of local restaurants.

Taking all of the above into account, let’s take a look at the 20 most popular dishes in Equatorial Guinea.

1. Pepper soup

pepper soup

pepper soup is a spicy soup that is prepared in a very simple way with water, salt, local herbs and fish.

All ethnic groups of the country share this dish and strangely enough, it is only eaten in the morning in the company of friends or family.

2. Peanut soup

peanutsoup

The soup is prepared with varying degrees of viscosity. It can be seasoned and served with cassava, rice, taro or banana.

Like almost all meals in Equatorial Guinea, the soup should always contain fish or meat of any kind, making for an exciting flavor mix.

3. Ocro soup or Ocro soup

Ocrosoup

Ocrosoup is a typical dish of the Bioko Island. It is truly one of the tastiest dishes of Equatorial Guinean gastronomy.

It is a very viscous dish that is prepared with vegetables and served with banana or cassava. You can make it by using the ocro (okra) in small pieces and add chopped vegetables. It is flavored with salt, chicken or lobster stock and cooked until the soup turns slimy. Then it is ready to enjoy.

4. Snail Soup

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Mollusc dishes are highly prized in Equatorial Guinea and one of the most famous dishes is made with forest snails. Most are caught in the jungle, hence the mollusks’ name, although some are farmed as well.

The main difficulty in preparing this dish is the work of removing the sticky snail slime. Usually, natural lemon juice is applied to the snail to completely remove the mucus and obtain a very clean snail ready to be cooked. In addition to snails, it is common to add vegetables and other ingredients, such as onion and lobster stock.

The soup should cook until the snail becomes soft to the palate. This is one of the tastiest dishes of Equatorial Guinea’s gastronomy and is usually served with cassava or plantain.

5. Bilola or sea snail

Sea Snail Skewers

Bilolas are very famous in Bioko Island, especially in a specific place called White Sand Beach which is about 45 kilometers from Malabo.

The beach gets its name from the whitish color of the sand, which is rare because it is a volcanic island, the sand is mostly black. Unlike forest snails, biolas are almost always cooked on skewers on the grill.

6. Paella

Since Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony for a long time, many Spanish dishes have become the staple food in the country.

It is usually prepared with shrimp and has a distinctive yellowish color. Paella rice (as it is called locally) is often served at christenings, New Years celebrations, or other celebrations.

7. Rice with chicken

Rice with chicken

As the name implies, the main ingredient in this dish is chicken. The chicken and rice are usually prepared separately, although in one variation of the dish, the chicken breasts are prepared together with the rice in one dish.

This dish is very popular in Malabo and there are small restaurants in town that sell it.

Fang Foods

8. Bambucha (Mendjaha)

bamboo

bamboo is a typical Fang dish, although other ethnic groups such as the Bubi or Ndowé have their variations. Prepared with fresh cassava leaves and palm kernel soup, this is arguably the most iconic dish of the Fang ethnic group and one of the most popular in the country. bamboo is usually served with taro or cassava.

9. Wrapped in Barbel

There are several dishes that are prepared packaged, so we can’t close this article without talking about the barbel wrap. The fish barbel is considered a very high end food in Equatorial Guinea, so anything related to it barbel is expensive, but also very tasty.

The preparation of this dish is simple. The barbel is cleaned and seasoned with salt, onion and stock. Then it is placed in cleaned banana leaves and tied, and the leaves are placed on burning charcoal without flames. The natural water that flows from the interior of the barbel retains the natural taste. This is one of the most characteristic and tasty dishes in the country.

10. Peanut Wrap

Peanut wrap is one of the typical dishes of the Fang ethnic group. It is a dish that is prepared for very special occasions such as a wedding, or when a mother-in-law visits her son-in-law’s house, in which case it is almost a law that she prepares this dish.

This wrap is prepared with peanuts (obviously!), but the finish is firm, without a hint of water. This is achieved by adding a little water to the ground peanuts, mixing it with a little salt, smoked fish and putting it over a low heat, wrapped in banana leaves, and waiting for it to dry completely.

Ideally, it should be accompanied by a serving of banana. Since it is a very dry food, it is advisable to have water nearby.

11. Pumpkin or Anita Blanca Wrap

Like the previous dish, it has the same seasonings and finish, except that instead of peanuts, pumpkin paste is used, which is obtained by grinding pumpkins.

12. Vote

pambota
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pambota is palm kernel soup flavored with smoked fish. It is arguably one of the tastiest foods of this ethnic group. How to make it: After the palm kernel has been crushed to extract the juice, it is used as the base for the soup and the smoked fish is added. (Some use smoked chicken instead.)

Although it is a very popular dish for other ethnic groups, everyone prepares it a little differently. When prepared by the Ndowés, pambota has an intense taste.

13. piss

Anyone who asks what can be eaten in Annobón will tell you about piss. They actually eat a lot on the island of Annobon, but piss is one of the Annabonese dishes that has crossed the boundaries for its elegance and taste.

The piss itself is a side, but it can only be eaten as an aperitif. There are many types: white piss, red made with palm oil and coconut piss. The latter is, in my opinion, one of the best works of art the human palate has ever tasted.

14. Aballah

This is the typical food of the Bubi ethnic group of Bioko Island, and especially common in Malabo. aballah is a taro dough obtained by crushing it, then mixing it with palm oil and wrapping it in well-prepared banana leaves where it is cooked. The end product is a soft and tasty dough.

15. Fritters

Although served as a dessert, fritters are usually consumed at any time of the day, but especially in the morning by workers and students.

It is a sweet dough made of flour mixed with yeast and sugar that is baked in the form of balls. They are sweet and doughy. There are also fritters made with banana dough.

16. Apartments

provinces

provinces are a mixture of roasted peanuts with water and sugar. It is heated until the sugar and water become very thick. As soon as it is removed from the heat, the sugary mass solidifies and the condodo is ready. It is very sweet and crunchy.

17. Interface

Although not harvested all year round, couple is one of those desserts that, because it’s just fruit, no one understands why it’s not eaten at the end of a main course.

Couple is collected when it has a distinctive strong natural blue color. All you have to do is heat water to between 70 and 85 degrees Celsius, remove it from the heat and the coupleand let it stand covered for about 10 to 20 minutes. At that point, the couple is already soft and has changed color. next the couple is removed and placed in a clean container, where it is ready to eat, although there are some that add a little salt.

Couple may be accompanied by cassava, but it is normally eaten alone as this is how the intense natural flavor of the fruit is most enjoyed.

The sides are an obligatory mention when we talk about the food of Equatorial Guinea. They are not just sides, but a symbol of Equatorial Guinea’s gastronomy. For example, no one eats a peanut wrap without asking for cassava or banana. However, you would never ask for rice or taro, which is almost forbidden and would cause a raised eyebrow.

The most popular are the following:

18. Yuca (cassava)

Yucca

Cassava is one of the stars of Equatorial Guinean cuisine. Almost everyone prefers it as a first or second option, and it is widely consumed because, once cooked, it keeps well at home.

Cassava is prepared with pasta from cassava tubers that are placed in water to ferment naturally and soften within four or five days. As soon as the cassava is fermented, it is crushed until a very soft paste is obtained. Then it is wrapped in banana leaves or another plant with large leaves and cooked until cooked.

Finally, we have the quintessential yucca that drives diners crazy (in a good way).

19. Banana

The banana is generally the second most popular companion, although they are the favored side dish in some regions. Cassava is preferred in the continental region and bananas in Malabo.

The banana doesn’t need much work other than peeling it and cooking it until it’s done. Unlike cassava, which can be stored for up to a month, the plantain ripens and must be used, but it is much less processed than cassava. However, everyone has their personal preference for either one cassava or banana.

20. Fried Rice

White rice without additional seasonings is one of the most consumed foods in the entire country as it can feed many people at a very low cost. The reason it appears last is because we included it as a side. In fact, almost everyone in Equatorial Guinea has rice reserves at home, as it helps poor families survive due to its simplicity (it doesn’t require many ingredients) and speed of cooking.

Fried rice is prepared by frying rice for 5 to 10 minutes with palm, coconut or olive oil. Once sufficiently cooked, water is poured into the pan and salt or chicken stock or lobster may be added. After that we only have to wait 30 minutes before it is ready to eat.


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Pablo Obama Mitogo Akele

Based in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Pablo is a writer and experienced paralegal. He specializes in legal writing, but also occasionally writes about his homeland and culture.

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