Shito is a particularly popular condiment in Ghana. Shito means “spicy” in Ga, one of the languages spoken in Accra, Ghana.
The dark brown colour of the Ghanaian-thick sauce is very appetizing and presages deliciously spicy flavours.Shito can also be used to marinate meats or fish, can be used as a vinaigrette, spread, topping for barbecue dishes or dip for French fries. It is not uncommon to find it on a cheese board instead of the usual chutneys.
Shito can be used in place of hot sauces. It is also used in fish and seafood soups as well as in rice dishes as a natural flavour enhancer.
Shito can be made in a variety of ways and every household has its recipe. It goes well with both fish and meat and can be served as a side to most dishes such as waakye, kenkey, white rice, as a dip, topping and much more. It can also be eaten simply with bread or spring rolls.
It is made with peppers, fish, ginger, garlic, onions, oil, spices and others. These ingredients are usually blended and cooked in oil until the sauce forms.
Shito can be either coarse and full of body or smooth, and medium – or extra – hot depending on how much chilli you use, and this is how you’ll find it labelled on supermarket and African grocery shelves.
100 grams has 100 calories
Use Shito as a cooking condiment or as a side for fish and chips, fried yam, potato, rice, spaghetti.
Get your ingredients together.
Heat a heavy-based saucepan, then add the oil and fry the ginger and onions over medium heat until brown but not burnt.
Remove from heat and strain the onions and ginger.
Blend the fried onion and ginger with some of the oil used in frying, the broken dried fish, tomato paste, habanero, and garlic.
Add the blended mix, thyme, and black pepper, then fry together for a few minutes.
Add chicken stock until the mixture has formed a thick paste.
Add the chilli flakes and continue cooking and stirring for a further 10 minutes.
Finally, add the crayfish powder, then cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring almost continuously to prevent the mixture from sticking to the base of the pan.
The oil will rise to the surface when the sauce is ready. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Leave to cool, then spoon into sterilised jars. There should be plenty of oil on top of the sauce once it’s cooked, so make sure there is a layer about 1cm (1/2 inch) thick in each jar.
Seal the jars and store in the fridge for up to a month.
You can serve Shito with fried plantain, fried or cooked yam, ewa agoyin, rice, and spaghetti.
If you leave the Shito to cool completely before putting in airtight jars, you can store in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to a year.