Togbogee and Rice, a Bitterball Dish

Togbogee is typically made with fresh bitterballs. However, some people use a mixture of bitterballs and kittely. Still others use only kittely. Using only kittely to make your togbogee is great if you like things really bitter.

You should be able to find fresh bitterballs at Asian, Latin, and African grocers. In the States, I have only found kitterly frozen and not fresh. Look for it at stores that sell bitterballs.

Please read tips at the bottom of this page before beginning.

You Will Need

1 ½ lbs frest bitterballs
1 lb shrimp (with shells)
3 crabs (cleaned)
3 lbs chicken and beef
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps seasoned salt (Lawrys is great)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Cookspoon red palm oil

½ tsp baking soda

Optional ingredients:

1 – 2 tsp kittely (for extra bitter taste)
1 large Orange (see Tips)
1 pod of hot pepper (see Tips)
2 bonnies (optional from Spanish or Oriental store)
1 piece dried fish – about the size of 1 C

Maggi chicken soup

Prepare your soup.

Wash your meat, chicken, fish, and seafood. Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Cut stewing beef into 1 inch pieces and smoked turkey into 1/2 inch pieces. If using bonnies, peel and remove bones. Clean crab and break apart. Combine all in pan with shrimp.

Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp seasoned salt. Stir to spread seasoning evenly. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Put all your meat in a deep pot. Add one half of onion to pot. Add a small piece of Hot Pepper. (see Tips below). Add 2 cups of water and cook half-covered on medium high for 20 minutes.

Spoon all your meats from pot and put in a bowl. Set aside.

Make your togbogee

Wash and remove stalk from bitterballs and cut each in four. Add to the pot with the remaining water. Add kittely if using. Add 1 tsp of seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. Add second half of chopped onion.

Half cover pot and cook on medium. Stir frequently, scraping bottom of pan with cook spoon. Cook until water is almost dried.

Add meats and palm oil. Bring to boil on medium. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Be careful not to let the sauce stick to the bottom of the pan. Taste your sauce. If you would like more salt, add a chicken soup. Or carefully add more salt.

Cook until dry. Your sauce is dry when you can no longer see water bubbling in the sauce about 30 to 45 minutes (see Tips below).

Turn off burner. Add baking soda to pot and stir. Allow to sit for fifteen minutes.

Enjoy your togbogee with Rice.


To reduce the food smell in your home, try peeling an orange. Place the rind in a small pot. Cover with water and boil the entire time you are cooking. Add more water as needed.

Since water and oil separates, look on the surface of your cassava leaf to check for the presence of water. All the water is gone when you can no longer see water separated from the oil.

Try a small piece of pepper first and taste your sauce before adding more. Remember you can always add more but you cannot take it away.

Be careful with bonnies. Bonnies are little dried fish with many, many bones. Try to get most of the bones out before cooking.

You can use all chicken or all beef instead of both.

Many Africans cook with Maggi chicken soup for added flavoring. I have added a minimal amount of salt to my recipe to allow you to add more or to use chicken soup if desired.

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