How is the food in Equatorial Guinea? – Modica Sauce

How is the food in Equatorial Guinea?

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Tasty, spicy, and delicious are some of the adjectives that define Equatorial Guinea’s food. With ingredients that cover tubers, spices, sauces, and so many flavors. However, for many still unknown.

Today, in Rumbo Malabo, we would like to talk about African food and its recipes. For doing so, it is a pleasure for us to introduce Mayra Adam Chalé.

Who is Mayra?

She is part of the Bööbe ethnic group on the island of Bioko, the beating heart of Equatorial Guinea. However, she grew up in Zaragoza, Spain, where she always had her Africa inside her.


Thanks to that, the African traditions such as culture, ethnicity were always present in her education


Our guest is currently working as a massage therapist, chiropractor, reflexologist, and Pharmacy technician. She has been working for 14 years in those professions in Madrid and Equatorial Guinea, where she can put into practice her passion for health and wellbeing.

She is also a working mother. Simultaneously, she runs one of the best Instagram accounts in Spanish specialized in African food: “mi_cocina_africana”.

But not only that, but she also has a YouTube Channel.! She is nowadays a referent in African cuisine.

In her own words, her passion for food and stoves was always there. However, when she was pregnant with her first child, it marked a before and after African food. She only had cravings for typical African dishes! The dishes of her childhood.

Therefore, thanks to that experience and several phone calls with her mother, the commitment to our cuisine became stronger. Many Africans and their children share the experience.

Mayra states that even if she were far away, food would always bring a memory of her land, similar to an invisible string that connects two people. And we could not agree more!

So, without further due, we would like to leave you with Mayra Adam Chalé.

What do Africans eat?

What are those signature dishes in African cuisine? Do we eat like the rest of the world? Do all the countries in Africa cook the same?

I would like to start by saying that African cuisine is rich and varied; it’s a cuisine that comprises an entire continent with many cultures and people.

Society tends to generalize the problems in Africa, and they only focus on the precarious situations (poverty and hunger) as a sample for the entire continent.

It is like we decide to change Europe's world image and only present the Cañada in Madrid or the barracks in Barcelona or any other shantytown in the Valencian Community. 

When we talk about African gastronomy, the collective imagination is to think that there is culture. The reason why is because people evoke the image of children in hunger.

Nevertheless, behind those images are wonderful recipes, very varied, rich in flavor and history. Moreover, carefully elaborated, and where you are not only going to enjoy but you will become obsessed and asking for more!

My name is Mayra Adam Chalé. I am from Equatorial Guinea, and I consider myself a person who loves her continent, cultures, and food!

And since we are talking about African food:

What is Modica Sauce?

All of my life, I have been eating Modica sauce. I cannot picture my childhood without this dish. The flavor is very characteristic, but it also combines those slow stews, full-bodied bathed in red wine similar to the Spanish gastronomy.

The Modica sauce is a typical Nigerian dish, where they call it Ogbono Soup. The dish arrived in Equatorial Guinea thanks to Nigerian migrants in 1920.

At the time, Guinea was a Spanish colony where cocoa and coffee crops were growing. The Spanish settlers imported labor from other countries such as Liberia and Nigeria to finish their harvests.

Since then, we adopted the dish, and it is one of the essential sauces in our traditional recipe book.

How is modica sauce made?

The modica sauce is made from palm oil, various meats/ fish and traditional spices. In addition, of course the main ingredient, the modica.

The Modica is the seed of wild mango (Irvingia gabonensis), also known as African mango, shrubby mango, or dika. Please do not confuse with the common mango (Mangifera indica) since they are two different species.

It is originally from parts of Central and West Africa, as well as Southeast Asia. Its evergreen tree can reach 25-40 m in height. The trunk is straight up to more than 2 m in circumference. The lateral branches are ascending make the crown dense and spherical. While whole fruit is edible, only seeds are used to prepare this recipe.

These seeds are collected, roasted, crushed, and compacted to form a hard stone, similar in appearance to chocolate. Thanks to this practice, the preservation can last several months.

The Modica stone or chocolate (also called locally) must be grated and added to the stew. Sometimes it is fried before to make it less dense. Because its mucilaginous texture can remind the Okro and jute leaves (Ewedu).

It is usually accompanied by fufu, crushed yam green banana (not banana), eba, or rice.

It is a food full of properties. It contains 18 essential amino acids and micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, sodium, and phosphorus.

Suitable for diabetics and all those taking care of their figure because it is satiating and helps us burn and lose weight.


Jilin medical university researchers (among others) have shown that supplements can help you lose weight, lower blood cholesterol levels, and improve diabetes control.

Researchers suggest that the Modica’s high fiber content competes with cholesterol and helps eliminate it. And its content is leptin, a hormone that tells the brain to stop eating, which is satiated. All these benefits make it a great ally in our kitchen.

Recipe with modica sauce

There are many recipes that we can elaborate with this seed. If you would like to try this delicious dish, here is how to prepare this delicious recipe:


  • 750gr meat/fish/ heura.
  • 1 beautiful tomato.
  • 1 Onion.
  • 2 cloves of garlic.
  • 25 grams of water
  • 3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Crayfhis
  • 2 broth tablets (homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt.

If you would like to try this delicious dish, here is how to prepare this recipe.


You can give me your opinion in the comments, on my Instagram page (mi_cocina_africana)  or on the YouTube channel itself.

Until the next recipe!

Enjoy your meal!

Alberto Esparza

Alberto Esparza

Hispanic philologist and journalist. Lover of Equatorial Guinea.

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