IngredientsNigerian Foods

How To Wash Catfish

Catfish in Yoruba language is called ‘eja aro’.

In Nigeria, Catfish is categorised as an exotic seafood with other fishes such as croaker, Tilapia, Eja Osan and many more.

As exotic and well-loved as catfish is in Nigeria, many people do not like cooking it at home because they get irritated when they touch fresh catfish because of the slime that makes it slippery.

As a result, there is always a high demand of cooked catfish because many people prefer to buy the already cooked ones in form of catfish soup, catfish pepper soup, catfish barbecue with chips and many more.

Another reason why many people prefer not to cook with fresh catfish is because they do not know how to clean catfish for cooking.

But for those people who know how to clean it, of course they enjoy using it to make several amazing recipes and combining it with other foods while enjoying the health benefits.

The ingredients to be used in thi sblog post are listed below.


  • 1 whole fresh Catfish
  • Half cup cooking Salt
  • 1 medium sized Alum
  • Water

Now that the ingredients needed have been stated, I will be writing about how to properly wash catfish to remove the slime and get it ready for cooking.

How to Clean fresh Catfish for soup

  • Get a big chopping board and place the catfish fish on it
  • Cut catfish with a sharp knife -depending on how big the catfish is, sometimes I cut mine into 3 pieces or more – and put in a big bowl
  • Add a lot of water and alum
  • Leave for 5 – 10 minutes

Alum is aluminium potassium sulphate. It is commonly found in markets in Nigeria because it is used for water purification, and cleaning food items with slime such as catfish, snails etc. Alum as it is popularly called is non-toxic.

So, let’s go back to how to clean a catfish step by step

  • After 10 minutes you will begin to see the slime in the water as it separates from the fish because of the presence of alum in the water
  • With your hands, use the alum to clean all the fishes properly
  • Also remove the fish intestines and make sure to scrap the fish blood with a small knife
  • Put the cleaned fishes in another bowl
  • After cleaning all the fishes boil enough water to cover the fishes as arranged in the bowl
  • Add 11½ tablespoons salt and pour the hot water in the bowl
  • Cover it and set aside for 10 minutes – this will remove all the residue slime on the fish.
  • After 10 minutes remove the fishes and place in a basket to drain out excess water.

Thank you for sticking with me thus far. Now that the cleaning is done, you can use the cleaned fish to cook your preferred catfish recipe.

As for me, I will be cooking Catfish stew with it.

If you would like to watch how to clean a catfish video on Youtube click below

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