For Unique Fish And Seafood, Try An African Store

Do you love seafood, but feel tired of trying the same foods again and again? If your local seafood market only tends to have the everyday choices, like shrimp and lobster, then it may be time to head to an African store in your area. Fish and seafood are big parts of many African cuisines, and as such, African stores tend to stock a lot of seafood and fish. They often have products that you may struggle to find elsewhere, such as:

Ribbed Mussels

Ribbed mussels are a species of mussel often caught off the coast of South Africa. They are known for their brown ribbed shells. The darker the shell, the older the mussel, and people generally prefer the lighter, younger ones. While you probably won't find fresh ribbed mussels in an African store in the US, you are likely to see frozen and canned ones. They can be a great base for a seafood stew.


If you're looking for a unique fish to try, then snoek is a good choice. This species of mackerel is found all along the east coast of Africa and is enjoyed in abundance in this region. Since it swims in schools, it is easy to catch in large numbers. Most African stores will carry frozen snoek fillets. They're delicious when grilled or fried. The fish is tender, yet oily, and it is firm enough to stand up to these cooking methods.

Giant Gourami

The giant gourami is considered an invasive species, so the fact that it's now seen off the coast of Africa is not necessarily a good thing. However, Africans have been fishing it, which is good for the biodiversity of the region and is also good for the palate. You're likely to see gourami fillets in the African store. They may even have smoked gourami in cans. The fish is delicious when seasoned simply, wrapped in a banana leaf, and steamed.


As the National Fish of South Africa, you can bet this one is popular! It is also known as the black bream and is known for its tender, juicy flesh. You may see whole Galjoen frozen at some African stores. They are not huge fish, so they are typically served whole. They're delicious when grilled or steamed.

Keep your eyes out for fish and seafood that you haven't tried before the next time you're at the African store.