TRI*D N’ TASTED: Lake to plate

Saturday, January 15th, 2022 02:10 | By

If I could be paid for food to travel, I would gladly jump on that offer. This is because I firmly believe that food can break or make a travel experience.

During my travels, it is, therefore, important for me to meet the chef, the unsung and unseen hero braving the kitchen heat, the choirmaster orchestrating the dance of flavours and the symphony of tastes and textures on every plate.

During my recent stay at Mfangano Island Lodge, which is located on the northern bay of the eponymous island, I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Tom Kawala. He has over 25 years of experience under his chef’s hat, which shows in his well-curated menu.

“I have always loved cooking. It might be a high-pressure job, especially when the lodge is full, but passion is what keeps me going. Interacting with guests and seeing them full and happy is one of the things that motivate me,” Chef Kawala shares.

He recalls how his journey started at Norfolk at the chips and fish corner and would span all the kitchen departments. This is what prepared him for his current role as head chef, where he can ably guide the kitchen team to make any meal, be it a Mediterranean or African dish.

The varied dishes he serves, ranging from starters such as chilled avocado soup, main meals like wood-oven baked pizza, and Amarula mousse for dessert, to my favourite meal, rolled stir-fried fish, is testament to his prowess.

While I may not be able to duplicate the explosion of flavours that the chef manages to get even from the simplest of ingredients, I succeed in convincing him to share his fish fillet recipe.

Feel free to try it at home. Or better still, visit Mfangano Island Lodge to get to taste the dish that inspired me to ask for the recipe.


Several pieces of fish fillet
A bowl of all-purpose wheat flour
A bowl of breadcrumbs
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 eggs
Some salt and black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil for frying

-Mix the lemon juice with salt and black pepper and pour that generously on the fish fillets. Let it marinate for 15 minutes.
-In a separate bowl, crack the eggs, add some salt and then beat the eggs till the whites are completely mixed with the yolks.
-Returning to the fillet pieces, first dip them in the wheat flour, then dip them in the eggs, and lastly in the bowl of breadcrumbs.
-Shallow fry the coated fish in a pan till golden brown on both sides.
Serve while hot with fries, fresh salad and some tartar sauce.

Marinate your fish fillet in lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
Dip the marinated pieces in all-purpose wheat flour before dipping them in some whisked egg in a bowl.
Lastly dip the fillet in a bowl of breadcrumbs ready for frying.
Shallow fry the fillet till golden brown.
Fry the fries that you will serve the fillet with.
When everything is ready, serve with a fresh salad.

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