How to Cook Fresh Kapenta-Zambian Food





Kapenta is one of the most delicious Zambian food cuisines. It is commonly known as lake sardines in English. They are basically small fishes and are  in various types namely Siavonga, Mpulungu, Chisense etc. There are usually named according to the name of the water body which they came from. There are many ways of preparing them but the most popular way is by frying. Kapenta is usually enjoyed with nshima and a side vegetable like Pumpkin leaves (Chibwabwa) or cooked okra. It is usually dried but today we are going to learn how to cook fresh Kapenta.

Fresh kapenta

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


1 Packet of Fresh Kapenta
1 big tomato
1 medium onion

Bell Peppers (green, yellow and red)

Fresh Chillies
Cooking Oil


Instructions of how to cook Fresh Kapenta

  1. Wash the fresh Kapenta
  2. Add some salt to it and let it drain in colander
  3. After the water has drained, put some oil in a pan (enough cooking oil for deep frying)
  4. Deep fry the Kapenta until it’s crunchy and then set it aside
  5. Cut up some peppers, onions and a bit of fresh chillies and tomato
  6. Make some gravy by heating some oil on a pan and fry the tomatoes, onions.
  7. Add the deep fried Kapenta to the pan and throw in the onions, peppers and chillies and only cook for a minute so as to keep it crunchy.
  8. Ready to serve
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