Omena wet fry



Omena (Lake Victoria sardines) are a common delicacy among the fisher-folk and the to the entire luos. Its preferred since it can last long without going bad and it does not require special storage or handling. its fished at night and by dawn , fish-mongers stream to the shores to buy it,so that their sardines might get enough sunshine. the sardines take about eight hours of sunshine dry,before they get packaged into large sacks for transportation all over the country.

Reasons why you should wash the sardines

Most of you probably have felt sand or even crushed sand while enjoying a dish of omena. Well, i believe it made you loose your appetite,or even swear not to eat it again. I want to give you reasons why its appropriate to wash your sardines before cooking. Foremost,the sardines are dried out in the open, large fishing nets are laid in fields and then the sardines are sprinkled to dry out. well,since the nets are in contact with the ground, there are chances it will dry with some sand.

Furthermore, its handling, packaging and transportation is a long process and involves different people. since it takes time to reach the consumer and the retailers may expose it to unhygienic conditions, it may host bacteria. Well, you do not have to panic, this can be rid off with a good wash.

Wash the sardines with warm water to remove the bacteria and the sand particles. If you do this, and follow the recipe below, then, believe you me, you’ll end up licking your fingers and the plate too.

How to cook it

cooking omena

Lately, it has become a desired dish to many people throughout the nation and even abroad. But the problem comes in its preparation. Most people do not know how to prepare the omena, some fry it till its dark, others just make it wet till it looks like bleached. Well here is a recipe to help you out.



  • 1kilo gram of dried omena
  • 3 large red round onion
  • 5 juicy tomatoes
  • 2 bunches of coriander leaves/ dhania
  • 2 medium size of capsicum
  • 3 tea spoon of curry powder
  • 3 pieces of fresh chilly ( *Optional*)
  • 2 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 glass of milk cream


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  1. Cut / remove the heads of the sardines or sort the them to remove extra bitterness.
  2. (the bitterness is mostly caused by the content of its stomach and partially its head.)
  3. Wash with warm water to kill bacteria.
  4. Drain the water and leave the sardines to dry for a few seconds.
  5. Heat oil in a dip frying pan.
  6. Then add omena gently. Fry till it turns golden brown and its a bit crunchy but don’t let it get burnt.
  7. Add onions then fry till the onion turns brown.
  8. Add capsicum and tomatoes ( if possible grate the tomatoes)mix well and cover for few seconds.
  9. Add salt and curry powder then mix well.
  10. Cut the lemons into two, then squeeze the lemons juice on the omena.
  11. Add fresh chillies and mix well( * the chillies are optional*)
  12. Add the milk cream and mix again and cover for a few minutes to make it soft. Cut the coriander leaves and sprinkle them on top of the omena.

Your omena is ready to be served with hot ugali.

Best served when hot.

Can serve 6 to 8 pax.

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Now that you have enhanced your cooking skills,why don’t you give it a try, follow the procedure and tell me how it turns in the comment box. You can also tell me what you would  love us cover in the next recipe article, or even share some of the few cooking skills you have with us so that others can learn too.

Meanwhile, cook some omena, invite friends and relatives over, enjoy your meal.

Omena recipe


This recipe was shared by Barack Javan, a seasoned chef who has passion in giving the local delicacies a unique taste.



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