Pambota Recipe

Explore the authentic Pambota recipe from Equatorial Guinea. Learn to create this delicious dish with ripe plantains and flavorful meat or fish.



  • Cuisine: Equatorial Guinean
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 400 calories

Pambota is a traditional and beloved dish in Equatorial Guinea, a small country on the west coast of Central Africa. This flavorful and hearty dish showcases the country's diverse culinary influences, combining elements of West African, Spanish, and indigenous cuisines.

At its core, Pambota features ripe plantains, a staple ingredient in Equatorial Guinean cooking. These plantains are typically sliced and fried until they develop a golden and slightly crispy exterior. The sweet and starchy nature of the plantains forms a perfect base for the dish.

The accompaniment to the plantains in Pambota can vary, but it often includes meat or fish. Chicken, beef, or fish are commonly used and are cooked with aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and bell peppers to create a rich and savory sauce. The sauce is seasoned with spices and simmered until it's bursting with flavor.

Pambota is a dish that not only satisfies the taste buds but also represents the cultural diversity and culinary heritage of Equatorial Guinea. It's a delightful example of how ingredients from different regions and traditions come together to create a uniquely Equatorial Guinean culinary experience. Whether enjoyed at home or in local restaurants, Pambota is a symbol of the country's rich food culture.


Discover the vibrant flavors of Equatorial Guinea with our Pambota recipe! Dive into a culinary journey that blends sweet plantains and savory delights.


  • 3-4 ripe plantains
  • 1 pound (450g) fish or meat (such as chicken or beef)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 hot chili pepper (optional, for spice)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water

Method Instructions

  1. Peel the ripe plantains and cut them into rounds or diagonal slices.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and fry the plantain slices until they are golden brown. Remove and set them aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  3. In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed and sauté the chopped onion, garlic, and chili pepper (if using) until they are fragrant.
  4. Add the meat or fish to the pan and cook until it's browned. If using fish, make sure it's cooked through. Remove the meat or fish from the pan and set it aside.
  5. In the same pan, add the diced tomatoes and bell pepper. Cook until they soften and create a sauce. You can add a bit of water to help create a saucy consistency.
  6. Return the cooked meat or fish to the pan and mix it with the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few minutes.
  7. To serve, arrange the fried plantain slices on a plate and top them with the tomato sauce mixture.

Pambota is a delightful Equatorial Guinean dish that combines the sweetness of ripe plantains with savory meat or fish and a flavorful tomato sauce. Enjoy your traditional Equatorial Guinean Pambota!

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Recipe Tags: Pambota, Pambota Recipe, Recipe


Pambota is traditionally served in Equatorial Guinea as a hearty and satisfying main dish. Here's how you can serve it:

  1. Arrange the Plantains: Start by placing the fried plantain slices on a serving platter. These sweet and slightly crispy plantains serve as the base of the dish.
  2. Add the Meat or Fish Mixture: Spoon the cooked meat or fish mixture with the tomato sauce over the plantains. Make sure to distribute it evenly.
  3. Garnish: You can garnish your Pambota with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for added flavor and a pop of color.
  4. Serve Hot: Pambota is best enjoyed while it's still hot. It's a comforting and flavorful dish that brings together the sweetness of ripe plantains with the savory goodness of the meat or fish and the aromatic tomato sauce.
  5. Side Accompaniments (Optional): Some people like to serve Pambota with a side of cooked rice or a simple salad for a more complete meal. It's a matter of personal preference.
  6. Enjoy: Sit down with your family or guests and savor the delicious flavors of this Equatorial Guinean classic.


  1. Choose Ripe Plantains: For the best Pambota, use ripe plantains. They should have a yellow to black skin with some black spots. Ripe plantains are sweeter and work perfectly in this dish.
  2. Prep Ingredients in Advance: Chop and prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking. This will streamline the process and make it easier to focus on cooking each step.
  3. Adjust Spice Levels: Be mindful of the hot chili pepper if you're sensitive to spice. You can reduce or omit it if you prefer a milder flavor. Conversely, if you love spice, you can increase the amount or use a hotter chili variety.
  4. Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. Fresh ingredients enhance the flavors of the dish.
  5. Don't Overcrowd the Pan: When frying the plantains, avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry them in batches if necessary to ensure they cook evenly and become crispy.
  6. Add Liquid Sparingly: When making the tomato sauce, add water gradually. You can always add more if needed, but it's harder to correct an overly watery sauce.
  7. Taste and Adjust: Taste the sauce before serving and adjust the seasonings to your liking. You can add more salt, pepper, or spices as needed to suit your taste.
  8. Experiment with Fillings: While traditional Pambota includes meat or fish, feel free to experiment with different proteins or even vegetarian options. It's a versatile dish.
  9. Presentation: Serve Pambota on a colorful platter to make it visually appealing. A sprinkle of fresh herbs on top adds a touch of freshness and color.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking to make Pambota but don't have access to all the traditional ingredients, here are some common ingredient substitutions you can consider:

  1. Plantains: If you can't find ripe plantains, you can substitute them with ripe bananas. While the flavor will be a bit different, ripe bananas can provide a similar sweetness and texture.
  2. Meat or Fish: Use any protein you have on hand. Chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or even tofu can work as substitutes for the meat or fish. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
  3. Onion: If you don't have onions, you can use shallots, leeks, or scallions as a substitute for onion in the recipe.
  4. Garlic: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic cloves. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove.
  5. Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce can be used if fresh tomatoes are not available. Adjust the quantity to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Bell Pepper: Any color of bell pepper (red, green, yellow, or orange) can be used based on your preference or what you have available.
  7. Hot Chili Pepper: If you prefer a milder dish or don't have fresh chili peppers, you can use a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for heat.
  8. Vegetable Oil: Any cooking oil like canola, sunflower, or olive oil can be used in place of vegetable oil for frying and sautéing.
  9. Salt and Pepper: Seasonings like sea salt, kosher salt, or freshly ground black pepper can be used interchangeably based on your preference.
  10. Fresh Herbs: If you don't have fresh herbs, dried herbs like parsley, oregano, or thyme can be used, but use them sparingly as dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor.


Wrap up your culinary adventure with Pambota and savor the rich tastes of Equatorial Guinea. An unforgettable dish that celebrates tradition and flavor!

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