This little fish is found more commonly in the Western and Nyanza regions of Kenya, particularly around the Lake Victoria area. It is very similar to anchovies, a tiny, stinky fish. People here love it!

There are two ways to enjoy your omena. The first is in a stew, the second is fried. Fried omena is the more popular option and both are enjoyed with ugali and greens. I have tried both ways and I can tell you right now if you don’t like anchovies you won’t like this. You’ll know omena is cooking from the pungent fishy smell it omits. It makes me nauseous.

Definitely not for everyone, but a staple here. Give it a try at least once if you visit the Western/Nyanza region, unless (like me) the smell is enough to turn you away. I am not trying to condem omena, it is super nutritious and my dog loves it, but I simply don’t. You be the judge.


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