Remove the fish meat from the body of the fish and the crab meat from the shells. Place in a bowl alongside.
Create fish stock by boiling fish and crab shells tossed into a pot with a bottle of palm oil and cover with water, stirring constantly. Season with salt.
Cut the salt fish into bite-size pieces.
Slice the okra.
Grind the dried shrimp and chilies into a paste.
Chop the onions and the tomatoes.
Shave the hair from the cowhide (if any) and boil in water for 10 minutes. Cut into strips once softened, season generously with salt.
Fry the cheese curds for about 5 minutes, until it hardens and becomes crisp around the edges.
Sauté the fish and crabmeat for a few minutes, or simply add to the simmering pot of fish stock. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface and discard it. Simmer gently for 1 hour.
Add the okra to the pan and simmer until it liquefies and becomes gelatinous. To save time, you can crush the okra with a mortar and pestle before adding it to the broth. Add enough okra to turn the liquid broth into a soup-like broth. (The more you add, the thicker it will become.)
Add the second bottle of palm oil to the broth. This emulsifies with the okra and creates a creamier, less bitter sauce.
Add the dried shrimp and chilli paste and stir. Add onions and tomato. Add the salted fish. Season the stew with salt to taste. Cook another hour, or more, until the okra is fully cooked in a thick, green sauce.
Add cowhide (if using) and cheese for 10 minutes. If you add the cheese too early in this process, it will melt into the stew.
Let cool and pour into individual bowls. Serve with foufou.
from BBC.com Table of the world “break the kitchen ceiling” by changing the way the world thinks about food, through the past, present and future.
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